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AAE Federal Update September 18, 2012
posted by: Alix | September 18, 2012, 05:29 PM   

Federal Leaders Comment on Chicago Teacher Strike


As the Chicago teacher strike enters into its second week, federal leaders continue to comment on the national implications this situation will have on education and labor policy for years to come.

The White House would not confirm whether President Obama had spoken with Chicago Mayor Emanuel about the strike, but a spokesperson told reporters Friday that the president wanted both sides to work together and resolve the problem. "I think what's important here is for all the parties to come together, work out a resolution, and make sure the children of Chicago are back in school getting educations," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in a press conference.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans have touted their support for charter schools and school choice, maintaining that this strike is a reason to support more school choice initiatives. "House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans will continue fighting to expand school choice, promote the growth of quality charter schools, and support home school options so families nationwide can ensure a brighter future for their children," read a statement from the committee.

Education reform groups from both sides of the aisle have expressed concern over the Chicago teacher strike and have called from an immediate resolution. AAE is vehemently opposed to strikes and work stoppages. Click here to read AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner's statement on the ongoing issue.

President Obama Touts Education Track Record in DNC Speech

Following the Republican National Convention's strong focus on education policy, President Obama touted his education plans and track record during his Democratic National Convention (DNC) speech earlier this month. President Obama argued that his economic policies would do more to protect the needs of students and schools than those of his Republican opponent.

President Obama's address at the DNC stuck mostly to broad themes articulating his view of government's important role in society-a role which includes supporting a strong education system and the needs of impoverished students.

The president gave an apparent nod to the Common Core state standards effort, which his administration has backed. "For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning," the president said.

President Obama also offered forward-looking policy ideas in education. He said he wants to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers, and he proposed cutting half the growth of college tuition costs, with both goals to be accomplished over the next decade.

Click here to view the entire speech.

Department of Education Recognizes 269 Schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 269 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence, or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels. Secretary Duncan was joined by Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy for the announcement at Arlington Traditional Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia.

The Department of Education will honor approximately 219 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on November 12-13 in Washington, D.C. In its 30-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on nearly 7,000 of America's schools.

"Our nation has no greater responsibility than helping all children realize their full potential," Duncan said. "Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future."

Click here to view the list of 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

National 'Above the Influence' Day Webinar for Educators

On October 18, 2012 during National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, the Office of National Drug Control Policy will be commemorating National "Above the Influence" (ATI) Day- an opportunity for youth and local youth-serving partners to organize ATI activities and events to demonstrate the power of staying above the negative influences that can lead to substance use.

This event reinforces ATI as a central substance abuse prevention tool on the national level and among community partners, key stakeholders, educators, and youth around the country. Educators can get involved in spreading the word via a variety of interactive tools and resources.

Click here
for more information on "Above the Influence," register for a webinar or to download the ATI Activities Toolkit.


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