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NEA delegates vote to support President Obama for second term and on policy on teacher evaluation and accountability

Assembly will hear from 2011 Teacher of the Year tomorrow on final day of RA

CHICAGO - July 04, 2011 -

Delegates to the National Education Association’s (NEA) 2011 Representative Assembly (RA) voted overwhelmingly to support President Obama for a second term today, making NEA the first union to recommend the President for next year’s election.  In addition, the delegates adopted a policy statement that observers agree will establish a clear course for overhauling teacher evaluation and accountability systems.

“Today our members have stated loud and clear that they will no longer allow the voice of teachers and 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 for both teacher evaluation and accountability systems.”

The body also heard from Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year Ernest “Jameel” Williams, a bus driver from North Carolina. Williams spoke passionately about the critical role that support professionals play in the daily lives of students.

He also spoke about the need for all professionals in schools to work together—he compared educators to a football team. “If the blockers don’t block the quarterback, or the tight ends or running backs don’t work together, the team is set up to be defeated because the opposing team senses weakness and that gives it an extra edge.  We don’t need to show division in the ranks!”

On the fourth and final day of the 90th RA, delegates will hear from the 2011Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer, from Maryland.  RA delegates will also use the last day to say goodbye and convey their appreciation to retiring NEA Executive Director John Wilson.  Wilson has led the national organization’s staff for 10 years, and will retire on September 1, 2011. 


Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer


Addressing delegates at NEA’s 90th Representative Assembly


Tuesday, July 5, 11:30 a.m. (approximately)


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

All media must register to cover the Representative Assembly. Contact Shade Barnes 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,