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Education Department’s Blueprint for RESPECT offers a positive agenda for change

Represents a critical first step in ensuring quality schools for our students

WASHINGTON - April 26, 2013 -

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Education released the Obama Administration's blueprint for elevating and transforming the teaching profession, also known as the Blueprint for RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching). Below is a statement from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“The National Education Association applauds the Administration for stepping up and offering an agenda for change. By focusing on teacher quality at the front door of the profession, increasing professional development and keeping student learning central to all that we do, we can implement great change for our students. We believe that the approach outlined in RESPECT represents the kind of thinking that’s going to improve our public schools, making them all exceptional institutions of learning for all students.

“Recruiting talented candidates and providing substantive, high-quality preparation is essential in ensuring quality schools. The department’s blueprint represents a critical first-step in ensuring that all students have access to a range of high-quality resources, including qualified and licensed teachers who are empowered to innovate and inspired to take on ever-growing challenges.

“The RESPECT plan and NEA’s Three-Point Plan both call for more rigorous standards for entry into the profession, as well as for developing systems that help ensure that those who are in the classroom maintain a high standard of practice. Together they set the stage for establishing a world-class teaching force that puts student learning at its core and is focused on helping students acquire the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive as 21st century citizens. It takes more than teachers to support students, including strong instructional school leaders and qualified and committed educational support professionals.

“We look forward to working with the Administration, lawmakers, parents and anyone else who is ready, willing and able to start working now to do what it takes to ensure success for all students.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser, (202) 822-7823,