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How Should We Support New Teachers? Arne Duncan Hears From NEA-Student Members | NEA Today

11 Jul

How can this nation do a better job of attracting, supporting, and learning from great teachers? U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan really wants the answer to that question—the country really needs the answer to that question, he said—and he got it on Monday from a group of NEA-Student members.

These future teachers were frank: They want to be respected for their choice to serve students, schools, and communities, they said. And they want to be better supported as they make the transition from student to teacher. Continue reading



26 Jun
FROM TWITTER FEED: VEA: NEA President asks NCUEA/NEA delegates not to throw Arne Duncan “under the bus” at this year’s Representative Assembly.

One Teacher’s Road to Vindication | NEA Today

12 Jun

By Michael D. Simpson, NEA Office of General Counsel

What is your teaching career worth? In dollars and cents? If a school board illegally took your job away and destroyed your right to practice your profession, how much should they be made to pay?

It’s a hard figure to calculate. But last February, a Charlotte, North Carolina, jury was up to the task. They awarded Jeff Leardini $1,173,716 for the loss of his career, one of the largest verdicts in history on behalf of a teacher.

In some ways, this is a tragic story: yet another episode of a great teacher brought down by baseless allegations of physical contact with students. But this one has an unusually happy ending. Continue reading

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel: 6-10-12 Interview – Fox News Sunday – Fox News

10 Jun

WALLACE: Now, we want to hear from the other side of the Wisconsin recall fight: organized labor. Joining us are two key officials: Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest union. And Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff and a leading policy voice at the AFL-CIO, the federation that represents more than 12 million workers.

And welcome to both of you.


THEA LEE, AFL-CIO: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: Let’s start with the question I asked Governor Daniels. When you look at the recall vote in Wisconsin, as well as the vote in those two California cities to cut back on government worker pensions, what’s the message, Mr. Van Roekel?

VAN ROEKEL: I think one thing we overlooked is the changer in the Senate. There’s a balance of power now. I think that’s very important. Governor Walker —

WALLACE: You’re talk about Wisconsin?

VAN ROEKEL: Yes, in Wisconsin. And I think that’s very important.

The second thing I think, it really points out the impact of unlimited corporate funding in elections and we have to see as it plays out, especially as we move toward the November. Continue reading

NEA Spells Out Vision of ‘Education Utopia’ | NEA Today

20 May

Asking the crowd to imagine a world in which every student receives a quality public education, National Education Association NEA Secretary-Treasurer Rebecca Pringle shared the NEA vision of “education utopia” on May 18, at a meeting of the Education Writers Association EWA.

“The National Education Association believes every student should have access to a great public school. But that is not our reality today,” said Pringle. “I want you to suspend your disbelief and travel with me to a place where that actually ‘IS’ America’s reality.”

Pringle led the audience of approximately 250 journalists, educators, researchers, and advocates through a presentation of what education utopia looks like. Based on NEA’s Three-Point Plan for Education Reform, education utopia is a system that ensures quality in five domains: quality professions, quality professionals, quality schools, quality policy, and quality unions. Continue reading

NEA – Letter to Senator Harkin Supporting his Middle Class Bill

30 Mar

March 29, 2012

Dear Senator Harkin:

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we would like to offer our support for your proposals to help strengthen the middle class. We thank you for your leadership in introducing this legislation and in particular for your focus on investments in education.

Today’s middle class is struggling and many previously financially secure families are finding themselves falling into poverty. The faltering economy, the housing crisis, rising food and gas prices, and attacks on workers’ rights have combined to undermine and destabilize the middle class.

Public education is the greatest tool we have to maintaining, increasing and strengthening the middle class. Every day in schools across the country, hard working educators give children the skills they need to become successful learners, agile problem solvers, and creative thinkers, preparing them not only to enter the workforce but to think and act as citizens. Continue reading

Leading the Profession: NEA’s Three-Part Action Plan

7 Jan

Leading Our Profession: Dennis2Delegates

6 Jan

The following is NEA president Dennis Van Roekel’s response to the controversy that has developed over the op-ed piece he co-authored with Teach for America CEO Wendy Kopp:

Hello Delegates and Happy New Year!

Thanks to many of you who have responded to my post about Leading the Profession: NEA’s Three-Point Plan for Reform and the major strategies guiding our efforts. I am deeply proud of the Association’s ongoing work in this area and encourage you to visit to read the three-point plan and other related items.

Also, I wanted to take an opportunity to respond to comments on my op-ed piece in USA Today with Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach For America. I believe leadership involves a willingness to speak with, listen to, and collaborate with a variety of people, oftentimes on issues where there may be differences of opinion. Following the call in our three-point plan to both raise the bar for entry into the profession and maintain high standards of practice in the classroom, it is more important than ever for us to work with all education stakeholders willing to collaborate with us if we are to truly improve the profession and provide a great education for our students. Continue reading

Matt Damon, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Decline NEA Education Award Nomination Over USA Today Op-Ed

5 Jan

Matt Damon and his mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, have declined a nomination for the Friend of Education award from the National Education Association’s Massachusetts arm — because of the NEA’s collaboration with Teach For America on a USA Today op-ed.

In a letter Wednesday to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University, says that she and Damon had originally planned to accept the nomination when they discussed the possibility over the summer.

But in December, Van Roekel and TFA Founder and CEO Wendy Kopp co-authored a piece in USA Today on how to improve America’s teachers.

“I have decided that because of your collaboration with TFA, it would not be wise for me or for Matt to be nominated for the Friend of Education Award,” Carlsson-Paige writes in her letter. “I regret this turn of events.” Continue reading

The Odd Couple: Dennis & Wendy – Bridging Differences – Education Week

5 Jan

Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch have found themselves at odds on policy over the years, but they share a passion for improving schools. Bridging Differences will offer their insights on what matters most in education.

Dear Deborah,

While we were on holiday break, Dennis Van Roekel and Wendy Kopp co-signed an opinion piece in USA Today, setting off a heated controversy.

It was a surprising statement, mainly because of its authors and what they represent. Here was the president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union, with more than 3 million members, joining in solidarity with the founder of an organization that recruits and assigns several thousand college graduates each year for short-term commitments to teaching jobs (many of them in non-union charter schools). One can only imagine the intense editorial negotiations between the staffs of these two powerful organizations.

Only two weeks earlier, NEA had released a statement calling for the reform of the teaching profession. NEA proposed that all new teachers should have a full year of residency under the supervision of a master-teacher and should be required to pass a rigorous, classroom-based performance assessment. These recommendations are directly opposed to TFA’s policy of placing its recruits into teaching jobs with only five weeks of training. Continue reading

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