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No Child Left Behind bill is showing improvement

WASHINGTON - October 17, 2011 -

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is currently finalizing its draft of a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  In a statement released today, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel expressed appreciation for Chairman Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) continuing work and flexibility in drafting this important legislation:

“The stakes are high for students, teachers and schools, so it is critical that lawmakers get this right. NEA is pleased to see improvements in the bill. We commend the leadership of Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi in conducting bipartisan negotiations around this legislation that will have a significant effect on the quality of education students receive in our nation’s public schools.  We appreciate the commitment Senator Harkin and Senator Enzi have made to continuing to improve this legislation as it proceeds, and we look forward to offering more suggestions from America’s public school educators.”

“NEA is committed to improving the quality of the workforce in our nation’s public schools. We have offered a new framework that local school districts can use for teacher evaluations.  As a result, we are pleased to see that the latest version of the bill recognizes that the federal government’s role is limited in this arena.  We will be working with our members at the state and local level to continue to promote policies that reflect our commitment to high standards for entry into the profession, for educators’ obligation to continue to improve their practice while in the classroom, and for robust and meaningful ways to evaluate educators’ performance.” 

“We also remain committed to advocating that school accountability systems contain true multiple measures of performance and embrace promising, locally-developed ideas to turn around struggling schools and allow educators to have a real voice in reform.  We look forward to continuing these discussions with Senators Harkin, Enzi and the members of the committee as the legislation moves forward.”

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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: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,