Statements of Support

Statements of Support for the National Education Association’s Priority Schools Campaign

There are too many schools across this country that fail to meet an obligation we have to our children. The National Education Association’s Priority Schools Campaign, under the leadership of President Van Roekel, is a testament to NEA’s commitment to improving under-performing schools. We’re proud that NEA actively supports our Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, which is working to bring the benefits of healthy, productive learning environments to all students. Together, we can send a message to our kids that we believe in them and are committed to their success. – S. Richard Fedrizzi,
President, CEO and Founding Chairman, US Green Building Council

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We whole-heartedly endorse NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which we recognize as a natural outgrowth of NEA’s historic commitment to kids and quality education for all, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Weaving together and leveraging, as the Campaign does, the strands of teacher capacity and effectiveness, teacher voice and support for school change, community assets, and school partnerships with families is key to the transformation of lower-performing schools into strong learning communities that consistently foster high levels of real, rigorous learning for all children.

As an organization devoted to making every child’s right to a high-quality education a reality, particularly in low-income communities, and to assisting in leveraging of resources and policy implementation toward that end, the Center for Law and Education looks forward to continuing our partnership with the NEA and to deepening it through working with you on the Priority Schools Campaign. – Paul Weckstein and Kathleen B. Boundy, Co-Directors, Center for Law and Education

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We’re long overdue in getting past the simplistic sloganeering and stereotyping around education reform. Making sure that our schools really don’t leave any child behind is hard work that requires everyone pulling together. That’s why we applaud the work of NEA and its Priority Schools campaign. It shows what is possible in our public schools when the focus is on cooperation on behalf of what is best for children and their future. This work is essential to the task of ensuring that the America of the 21st century is one of equal opportunity and broadly shared prosperity. – Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey, Co-Directors, Institute for America’s Future

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I applaud President Van Roekel and the National Education Association (NEA) for their work in transforming the nation’s lowest performing schools. These students are the most disadvantaged, and by NEA focusing their efforts on them, they have a real opportunity to succeed. I look forward to working with NEA as they reach into our communities, as well as on the Priority Schools initiative, and on making a difference for our nation’s youth. – Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder & President, National Action Network

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National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is pleased to provide a statement of support for the National Education Association’s Priority Schools Campaign. NWF believes that this campaign will be effective in helping to transform the United States’ lowest performing schools through a Community of Practice approach that engages students, educators, parents, and community members in transforming public education and increasing student achievement.

NWF stands ready to support the Priority Schools Campaign through its innovative environmental education programs such as Eco-Schools USA and Schoolyard Habitats that have been shown to not only transform the school building and grounds, but also to improve academic test scores and engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines through the integration of environmental education into curricula. We look forward to working collaboratively with NEA as it reaches out to the nation’s K-12 school communities in this important campaign effort. – Kevin J. Coyle, JD, Vice President, Education and Training, National Wildlife Federation

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There are too many schools across this country that fail to meet an obligation we have to
our children. The National Education Association’s Priority Schools Campaign, under the leadership of President Van Roekel, is a testament to NEA’s commitment to improving under-performing schools. We’re proud that NEA actively supports our Welcoming Schools Program, which addresses anti-LGBT bullying in K-5 schools. Together we can send a message to our kids that we believe in them and are committed to their success. We wholeheartedly endorse NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which we recognize as a natural outgrowth of NEA’s historic commitment to kids and quality education for all, particularly in disadvantaged communities. – Joe Solomonese, President, Human Rights Campaign

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As a proud partner of the National Education Association, the Will Steger Foundation (WSF) is honored to support NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign. We are both pursuing innovative programs that measure student success and teacher quality and that transform how and what our students learn and our educators teach. Since its establishment in 2006, WSF has been making a tangible impact on public awareness concerning the threat of climate change through K-12 curriculum, youth programming, expeditions, and public outreach. WSF’s education program offers thought-provoking interaction and practical solutions for educators and students by developing and supporting them with professional development opportunities; free on-line, standards-based climate change curriculum; and action resources at www.willstegerfoundation.org . – Nicole Rom, Executive Director, Will Steger Foundation

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is a longtime champion of high quality schools for our nation’s youth. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth often spend their school years navigating difficult and sometimes dangerous terrain, victims of teasing, vicious attacks and other forms of physical or verbal violence. From our perspective, a strong Priority Schools Campaign will focus not only on academic standards but will also demand a supportive learning environment. All students deserve to feel safe; there is simply no justification for homophobia and transphobia in our nation’s schools. We have advocated for federal legislation that would require schools to adopt anti-bullying/harassment policies and train educators and administrators. We applaud the National Education Association’s commitment toward permanent changes in Priority Schools and we look forward to partnering with them on this vital endeavor. – Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Spotlight

Classroom Superheroes

Educators in priority schools are rising to a superhero challenge every single day. Nominate educators in your community and support others at classroomsuperheroes.com

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PSC Superhero Keith G. Pemberton

Keith G. Pemberton is a social worker at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point, N.C., where he has built a strong and steady pipeline for parental involvement, specifically among fathers and male mentors. Check out his Classroom Superhero profile and leave some words of encouragement.

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