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Press Release


March 10, 2009
Contact: Heather Reams

AAE Applauds President Obama’s Commitment to Education Improvements

Alexandria, VA— Today the Association of American Educators (AAE) applauded President Obama’s first major speech about education since taking office. The President addressed and showed commitment to issues that AAE supports such as charter schools, alternative certification and varied methods for compensating teachers.

“Educators should be excited to hear that the President is interested in employing innovative ideas in public education,” said Gary Beckner, AAE executive director. “While change can be uncomfortable, educators should keep an open mind.”

Beckner refers to other teacher organizations that have worked against education reform measures such as charter schools and performance pay.

“We’ve had members contact us saying they hear they will lose their jobs if a charter school is opening in their city or they will get short-changed if some kind of performance pay plan is implemented,” said Beckner. “Unfortunately they are listening to scare tactics promulgated by other teacher organizations that are resistant to new ideas.”

In a survey of AAE members in 2007, 70 percent believed that the current system for compensating teachers should be improved upon. Furthermore, members stated that student achievement gains and classroom evaluations were the top two measures of their work.

“As government continues to take a role in education, we’d like to see it embrace and employ some of these innovations,” said Beckner. “It sounds like President Obama is open to these ideas. We are hopeful he will follow through with them despite pressure to do otherwise from other education organizations.”

Dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student, the Association of American Educators is the premier educators’ network that advances the teaching profession through teacher advocacy and protection, professional development and promoting excellence in education so that educators receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities.