NEA’s Priority School’s Campaign has brought together more than 300 teachers, education support professionals, union leaders, district administrators, community members and parents, representing 36 Priority Schools from 17 states, in New Orleans for a three day forum to share lessons learned, challenges and strategies for success in school transformation efforts.
Declaring “the status quo must go,” National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel addressed the crowd on the conference’s opening day.
“We need to be dissatisfied with the way things are. It has to gnaw deep down in your gut so hard that you can’t stand it. That you can’t take it for one more day that it stays the way it is. That you not only accept change, you demand change,” said Van Roekel.
The Priority Schools Campaign recognizes this group as the education experts leading the reforms needed for student success. “You are dedicated, you are collaborative, you are forward thinking you are hardworking and focused squarely on your students,” said John Stocks, NEA Executive Director in welcoming remarks.
Forum participants will hear from senior U.S. Department of Education officials, interact with other education reform experts and connect with resources from NEA and its partners. One new resource is a virtual mentoring program for Intensive Support Sites. This pilot program, a result of a partnership with the Center for Teaching Quality, features 41 accomplished teachers to serve as virtual mentors to their fellow educators in priority schools.
At the conclusion of the three days, educators will leave with real-world methods for sustaining and improving their progress.