Obama Talks With Educators About Challenges and Reform

Sep 10, 2008, 01:00 ET from National Education Association

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you want to know
 what resources are needed in America's classrooms, ask an educator. That's
 exactly what Sen. Barack Obama did today as he took his message on
 education reform to a high school in Norfolk, Va. Obama emphasized the
 importance of increasing access to technology and making college affordable
 and accessible for every student. He added that he wants to listen to
 educators and partner with them to ensure opportunity for America's
     Obama's message will likely go a long way with NEA's 3.2 million
 members, 80 percent of whom are female. Women make up an important
 constituency in this election and will prove to be an integral swing vote.
 In addition, no one is better positioned to influence their neighbors on
 wise political choices than educators, who are among the most respected
 messengers in America.
     The following can be attributed to National Education Association
 President Dennis Van Roekel:
     "Sen. Barack Obama is showing that he is committed to transforming
 America's public schools and is interested in getting input from those
 charged with the awesome responsibility of educating our youth. It is
 important to have educators' voices represented in this effort, because
 they can speak firsthand about what resources are needed to make sure every
 child receives a first-class education.
     "Sen. Obama wants to fund technology programs that would help with
 everything from tutoring to skill assessment to successful strategy sharing
 among educators across the country. As a founding partner of the
 Partnership for 21st Century Skills, NEA joined business leaders and
 policymakers to promote the integration of technology and provide the
 resources needed to facilitate change. It is imperative that America's
 schools provide students with the skills that will help them compete in a
 global economy.
     "Education should not end in high school. NEA agrees with Obama's
 assertion that every student who wants to attend college should be able to
 do so. Higher education is no longer a luxury, but a requirement. Our
 country cannot afford to shortchange our future and global competitiveness.
     "Obama understands that public education is the heartbeat of our nation
 and wants to improve it. In stark contrast, Sen. John McCain has shown he
 will simply be more of what we have had for the past eight years. He has
 voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time, and his education plan has
 erased any doubts that he would discontinue the misguided policies of the
 Bush administration."
     For more on NEA's campaign activities, please visit:
     For more on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills:
     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

SOURCE National Education Association