Education | News | Oregon

NEA President Presses For Greater Teacher Role In School Reform

OPB | Sept. 10, 2013 10:55 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 3:55 p.m. | Portland

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The national president of Oregon’s major teachers’ union is meeting with state leaders Tuesday. National Education Association head, Dennis Van Roekel is in the middle of a four-state “back to school” tour.

NEA president Dennis Van Roekel and Oregon Education Association president Hanna Vaandering

NEA president Dennis Van Roekel and Oregon Education Association president Hanna Vaandering

Rob Manning / OPB

He’s pushing leaders at the state and national level to seek advice from teachers when considering education policy. Van Roekel says that includes moving classrooms toward to the rigorous “Common Core” national standards. 

“The Common Core standards are one thing, the implementation is a very different thing, and it is so important,” says Van Roekel. “These Common Core standards are way too important not to do the implementation well, and in order to do it well, you must have the voice of educators in the room.”

Van Roekel says he’s in favor of teachers spending adequate time getting professional development, even if it takes away from time in the classroom. But he says school districts could avoid those kinds of “either-or” decisions, with sufficient funding.  

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