The National Education Association’s Priority Schools Campaign is grounded in the organization’s core commitment to a great public school for every student. For all of what NEA believes, what we say and the work we do, we have never created a system that delivers on this promise. That’s why turning around low-performing schools is a high priority for our 3.2 million members. Our intention is nothing less than transforming the lives of tens of thousands of students. We can only do this by disrupting the status quo.
Clearly, the status quo is unacceptable. Too many students in high poverty communities are in chronically under-funded, under-staffed, and unsupported schools, in buildings badly needing repair and often environmentally hazardous, filled with the most inexperienced and too often the least prepared teachers.
“We cannot continue to do in America what we’ve been doing to students for the last 20, 30, 50 years,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel has said repeatedly in remarks to NEA-member audiences. “The world has changed and we need a different system. The idea that we will continue to get the same results for the next five or ten years in the lowest-performing schools is not acceptable. So what are you willing to do? What do you believe would not only change the school environment and learning and working conditions in those schools, but would change the future for those students?”