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NEA partners to develop standards for measuring 21st century skills

Education collaborative strives to ensure global competitiveness for students

WASHINGTON - February 23, 2009 -

NEA is pleased to announce its partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association, Achieve, Inc., the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Hunt Institute, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and the Business Roundtable, in a new state-led initiative to improve the access of every student to a complete, high-quality education that provides the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the 21st century.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is working to produce a common core of voluntary state standards across grades. The K–12 standards would cover English/language arts, math, and eventually science. The initiative plans to be an inclusive and transparent process that will include input from education, civil rights and business leaders among others.

“NEA welcomes the opportunity to participate in this effort to provide manageable, high-quality standards for adoption by states to guide efforts to improve education,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “We are pleased that the voices of classroom educators will now be a part of this process.  NEA’s members and staff have been working diligently to transform public education to ensure that every student has access to a great public school. The work of the collaborative directly aligns with NEA’s goal to transform public education and our ongoing role with The Partnership for 21st Century Skills,” Van Roekel said.

While applauding this collaborative effort to establish better quality academic standards, NEA is also committed to promoting standards for learning that support and provide resources for schools, teachers and students. International benchmarking against academic standards must be comprehensive and include accountability for child well-being, facilities and supplies.

NEA remains an advocate of including other essential areas of schooling, such as civic responsibility, in education transformation efforts. NEA also believes it is critical that standards and the assessments associated with them also provide appropriate accommodations and modifications for both students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

In response to NEA’s becoming a partner with this initiative, CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit said, “The engagement of NEA in the Common Core State Standards Initiative is a major and essential development. The voice of teachers is absolutely critical to this important work and adds tremendous value to the initiative.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional 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: Michelle Hudgins
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