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NEA President comments on back-to-school speech by President Obama

Van Roekel welcomes use of president’s visit to school to shine spotlight on students

WASHINGTON - September 14, 2010 -

President Barack Obama today spoke directly to students during his second annual back-to-school address. He said that parents, educators and policymakers have a shared responsibility to support student learning and empower them to succeed in a global economy. He also reminded students that they must take an active role in creating their own futures by studying hard, being responsible and staying in school.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Urging students to take responsibility for their learning and their future is an important message, and we hope they will heed President Obama’s advice. We’re glad the president continues to emphasize the importance of education to our nation and to our young people.

“All students need great public schools that will prepare them to succeed and compete in the global economy. We know that educating students and preparing them for the 21st century is a huge task, one that requires the support of the community as well as the classroom teacher. We do need everyone—students, parents and grandparents, business and community leaders, elected officials and others—to support the work of creating great public schools for all students.

“NEA members across the country are rolling up their sleeves and doing their part. NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign is the Association’s commitment to transforming persistently low-performing, priority schools into great public schools for everyone.”

NEA has developed and compiled resources to help educators get off to a great start for the school year. Resources are available at

For more information about NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, please visit

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee 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: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,