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John Stocks names director of NEA’s Center for Great Public Schools

A former elementary school teacher, Bill J. Raabe to lead in-house think tank

WASHINGTON - September 07, 2011 -

National Education Association (NEA) Executive Director John Stocks today announced Bill J. Raabe as the director of the Association’s Center for Great Public Schools, effective immediately.

“Raabe brings enormous experience, from teaching to expertise in collective bargaining, serving in NEA affiliates, and experience in working with policymakers,” said Stocks.  “He is a can-do team player who respects the ideas of our members, listens to others' opinions and offers insight into what works in classrooms.”

The NEA Center for Great Public Schools strengthens the Association’s capacity to explore, articulate and promote policies that support student learning, the quality of schools and the education professions.  The center includes the following departments: Education Policy and Practice, Teacher Quality, Quality Schools Products and Resources, Education Support Professional Quality and Research.

“All NEA members—teachers, support staff and higher education faculty—understand that public schools require well-designed policies that support student success.  Frankly, too many of the ideas espoused by policymakers miss the mark,” said Stocks. “Through the Center, NEA can more fully engage in the debate of ideas that work for students and that really deliver the promise of public education to students in every community.”

For seven years, Raabe has served as NEA’s Director of Collective Bargaining & Member Advocacy. In that capacity, he was responsible for leading the Association’s efforts in the areas of collective bargaining, compensation, health care, and retirement benefits.

Before joining NEA, Raabe taught elementary school for seven years in the Russel-Tyler-Ruthton school district, in Tyler, Minn. He also spent time as a local leader, state affiliate staff, and the Director of Collective Bargaining in Education Minnesota. In these positions, he bargained hundreds of school employee contracts using traditional and interest-based processes, advocated for school employees at the local and legislative level, researched school employee compensation and compensation strategies, and authored articles on the use of collective bargaining to improve teaching and learning conditions and student achievement.

Raabe has a degree in education from St. Cloud University in Minn., completed graduate work at the University of Maryland, and earned a certificate in Organization Development from the National Training Laboratory. Outside of work, Raabe is an avid runner and has completed over 30 marathons and hundreds of shorter races.

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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:  Andrew Linebaugh  (202) 822-7823,