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Letter to Congress on the International Summit on the Teaching Profession

March 13, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we are proud to announce that NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, part of the official U.S. delegation, and Montgomery County Education Association President Douglas Prouty will be featured panelists at the second International Summit on the Teaching Profession, to be held March 14-15 in New York City.

Representatives of the 24 participating countries and regions include education ministers, leaders of national teachers’ organizations, and teacher leaders from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In keeping with the theme of the summit meeting, “Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders,” Van Roekel will highlight NEA’s three-point plan to strengthen the teaching profession and improve student learning, available at http://bit.ly/rQvpB. Unveiled in December 2012, the main elements of the plan are raising the bar for entry into the profession, teachers ensuring teacher quality, and union leadership to transform the profession.

“When you look at the highest performing nations, you see one major common denominator — collaboration,” Van Roekel said. “The international evidence is clear. When school administrations, elected officials, and unions work collaboratively, especially on recruiting, training, mentoring and supporting teachers, the profession is stronger and students do better.”

Prouty will discuss application of these principles in Montgomery County, Maryland. One of the nation’s top-performing school districts, Montgomery County is “on the leading edge of a wave of teacher unionism that emphasizes collaboration over conflict and makes school reform a top priority,” according to a recent Washington Post article, available at http://wapo.st/AAwApv.

The U.S. Department of Education, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Education International are hosting the summit. U.S.-based partners in the event include the National Education Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Asia Society, the American Federation of Teachers, and public broadcaster WNET. For more information, please see http://1.usa.gov/scRSGF.

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations