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NEA forum explores teacher preparation and evaluation

Educators challenged to take on leadership roles

NEW ORLEANS - July 03, 2010 -

As part of NEA’s Annual Meeting being held here this week, the nation’s largest education Association yesterday hosted a forum titled Trends In Teacher Quality: Are We Headed In The Wrong Direction? NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and Executive Director John Wilson kicked off the event by challenging educators to take on leadership roles in their schools and districts.

“Teacher quality is at the center of education policy debates,” said Segun Eubanks, director of NEA’s Teacher Quality department and moderator for the panel discussion.  “But whether policy will support teachers and their profession—or blame them for public schools' failings—remains to be seen."

Distinguished panel participants included Dr. Mary Hatwood-Futrell, former dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University, Dr. Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, and Andy Coons, National Board Certified Teacher and technology facilitator from the Tacoma (Washington) school district.

Dr. Hatwood-Futrell, an internationally recognized expert in teacher preparation and education reform, reinforced NEA’s call for teachers to become professional activists. “Teachers need to be taught to be leaders, not just in their classrooms, but also in their schools and districts," Futrell said. "In accepting the role as leaders, teachers should not only look at and identify problems, they should commit to being part of the team that is looking for solutions. It's then that we will begin to see a change in the teaching and learning environment.”

"NEA is committed to teacher quality reform and to supporting and redefining teacher effectiveness,” NEA’s Eubanks said in closing the session. “This reform will be successful only when teachers —not bureaucrats or politicians— are at the center of teacher development and accountability policy."

To learn more about NEA’s positions on teacher preparation, assessment and evaluation, visit:

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 412-8955,