Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, January 23, the Center for American Progress will host a candid discussion with Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, or NEA, the nation’s largest teachers union, as well as local NEA chapter presidents and education policy scholars, who will talk about the changing role of teachers unions in light of a wide range of issues including educator quality, school improvement, and educator leadership. Now is the time to set a new course to create a teaching profession that truly advances student achievement.
In an ever-evolving public education landscape, educators, parents, members of the school community, and local leaders must work together to redefine the purpose of education and what it means for students to succeed. And within that landscape, teachers unions are working to ensure that their members are at the forefront of education reform by giving members opportunities to develop new, better ways of improving the profession and public education. Evidence suggests that education reform initiatives are more likely to succeed when teachers have a voice at the table. But as teachers unions have faced serious criticism from external audiences, the internal transformation of the unions has been less apparent. Teachers unions are responding to the changes in the education landscape through a variety of efforts and working with other stakeholders to improve teaching and learning.
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress
Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association
Richard Lee Colvin, Senior Associate, Cross & Joftus
Elena Silva, Senior Associate, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Paul Toner, President, Massachusetts Teachers Association
Tammy Wawro, President, Iowa State Education Association
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President of Policy, Center for American Progress
January 23, 2014
10:00 a.m. ET – 11:30 a.m. ET
Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
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