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ID Educators at National Gathering: “Hope Starts Here”

July 2, 2009

Boise, ID – More than 10,000 educators believe "Hope Starts Here." That is their theme as they convene the National Education Association Representative Assembly tomorrow in San Diego. They plan to tackle the tough issues, including funding, school dropout prevention, and the No Child Left Behind Act.

Teacher Sherri Wood, who is president of the Idaho Education Association, the largest union representing educators in the state, is attending. She says the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act is a significant issue for Idaho because the state receives a lot of funding through the law, while there are some well-documented problems with it.

"The rules and regulations moved testing of children to the most important component. We don’t believe that testing should be the most important component of a public education."

Educators will be brainstorming ways to improve high school graduation rates, says Wood, and Idaho’s rate is over 80 percent, which she adds, compares well to other states.

"We don’t consider that good enough, because we’d just as soon not lose any child to a drop out. So, that will also be a discussion at the representative assembly."

Assembly delegates will engage this morning in a town hall discussion with President Obama's new Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who has said he has his own strong opinions about No Child Left Behind, but still wants to hear from educators, parents and students before deciding on specific policy changes.

Additional information may be found at www.nea.org/annualmeeting.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID