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NEA responds to Rhee group's policy agenda release

WASHINGTON - January 10, 2011 -

NEA issued the following statement from NEA Executive Director John Wilson in response to Michelle Rhee’s announcement of her group’s policy agenda:

“NEA has long advocated for high standards in the teaching profession, for regular teacher evaluations, and for professional development that improves teachers’ effectiveness.  We welcome Rhee to the effort.

“Making certain that all students have access to great teachers and to great public schools requires research-based solutions but sadly, Rhee’s entire document lacks facts or research to back up its recommendations.  Instead its so-called solutions play to people’s fears rather than promote a positive and collaborative agenda for improving America’s public schools.

“Transforming schools requires collaboration of all stakeholders—parents, teacher unions, elected officials and community members.  In fact, Rhee need look no further than Indiana, Tennessee and Florida—three states where she says she is working on education issues—to find replicable models of adults working together and truly transforming students’ lives.

“NEA members are proud of the work they do to shape the lives of students and the future of this nation.  Make no mistake; they put students first each and every day in the classroom. It’s time to work together to identify solutions to our educational challenges. Our students gain nothing from empty rhetoric and divisive solutions.”

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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: Stacey Grissom  (202) 822-7823;