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Educators Approve Teacher Evaluation and Accountability Policy Statement

NEA action will advance student learning and raise status of teaching

CHICAGO - July 04, 2011 -

Delegates to the 2011 National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly (RA) today adopted a Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability. By a majority vote of more than 8,000 delegates, the Policy Statement puts the focus on what is best for students and the profession of teaching.  It puts NEA on the record, for the first time, as calling for a comprehensive overhaul of both teacher evaluation and accountability systems to advance student learning.

The ratification of the Policy Statement allows the organization’s leaders and members to move forward with a clear and concise statement of beliefs and positions on key policy issues. The Policy Statement sets forth a framework for the national, state and local affiliates of NEA to reclaim their seats at the table and go about the work of elevating the status of teaching. As a result of today’s floor vote, NEA is in a better position to fight the attacks of special interests groups and “reformists” who continue to unfairly target educators, privatize public education and disregard the voice of students and their primary advocates.

 “NEA members have stated loud and clear that they will no longer allow the voice of educators to be silenced and marginalized by people who don’t have a clue what teaching is,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “This Policy Statement puts NEA on the record in calling for a comprehensive overhaul of both teacher evaluation and accountability systems and it affords the association’s members the opportunity to take responsibility for ensuring the development, implementation, and enforcement of these high quality systems.”

The newly-adopted Policy Statement lays out rigorous standards and delineates the multiple indicators of teacher practice that must be taken into account. Clearly articulating the link between teacher accountability and student success, the Policy Statement defines an appropriate evaluation system and gives the context for how such assessments should incorporate student assessment indicators into teacher evaluation.

The Policy Statement reflects the importance of maintaining high standards, not lowering them; robust evaluations by highly qualified evaluators using multiple indicators, not a single narrow metric; and ensuring that when a teacher distinguishes herself and attains career status, it is a meaningful event.

“NEA has made it abundantly clear where we stand and what we know is best for our profession and its practice,” said NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle. “This Policy Statement is a giant step forward and we invite districts and administrators to join us at the table to find common ground and workable solutions based on the principles our members have outlined in this policy statement.”

Following the conclusion of the 2011 Representative Assembly, NEA staff and executives will begin the labor intensive process of  formalizing the tenets of this policy into actionable materials, plans and resources for its members and affiliates as they continue their work ensuring the future success of students and improving the quality of public education.

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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: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 822-7823,