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NEA 2011 Representative Assembly opens with president’s keynote and recognition of ‘Wisconsin 14’

Delegates will welcome Vice President Biden and Kentucky Gov. Beshear on day 2

CHICAGO - July 02, 2011 -

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel kicked off the 90th annual Representative Assembly (RA) today in Chicago with a rousing keynote speech, urging delegates to stand strong for education. 

“The voice of teachers and educators must not be silenced and marginalized by people who don’t have a clue what teaching is—folks who couldn’t survive a day in your shoes,” Van Roekel said.  "We are empowering our members to build communities of support around those students who need it most."

The speech was followed by the presentation of the Friend of Education award to the ‘Wisconsin 14’ for making the bold and unprecedented decision to leave the state of Wisconsin earlier this year, rather than vote for a controversial bill that would weaken and possibly eliminate collective bargaining for Wisconsin public employees.

Tomorrow, RA delegates will hear from Vice President Joe Biden, and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. Beshear will receive America’s Greatest Education Governor Award.  During Gov. Beshear’s term, Kentucky has moved into the top 20 in the United States in fourth-grade and eighth-grade reading scores.  He also signed legislation to make it easier for higher education students to transfer credits from a community or technical college to any of Kentucky’s four-year universities. 
The Vice President is expected to talk about how important educators are to building, supporting and helping to strengthen America’s middle class. 


Vice President Joe Biden
Gov. Steve Beshear
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel


Addressing delegates at NEA’s 90th Representative Assembly


Sunday, July 3, 10:30 a.m. CDT (Vice President Biden), 2 p.m. CDT (Greatest   Education Governor)


McCormick Place Convention Center
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
North Building, Level 3 Hall B-1

All media must register.  Contact Sara Robertson to request credentials,

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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: Laila Hirschfeld  (202) 822-7823,