Education Department launches RESPECT proposal on teacher quality
by Michelle Hudgins and Tim Walker
National Education Association leaders believe a new Department of Education proposal is a promising proposition toward improving the teaching profession. This week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan launched RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching), a proposal that challenges states and districts to work with teachers and their unions to support and improve the teaching profession.
“Our goal is to work with educators in rebuilding their profession—and to elevate the teacher voice in shaping federal, state and local education policy,” Secretary Duncan said at the launch of the RESPECT Project on Wednesday, calling the project a “national conversation.” “Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession—but America’s most respected profession.”
In December of 2011, NEA announced its own aggressive agenda for transforming the profession called NEA’s Three-Point Plan for Education Reform. The plan outlines strategies that will increase the quality of teacher candidates, make sure that teachers remain at the top of their game throughout their careers, and to improve student learning by improving the teaching profession.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said the RESPECT plan represents a critical first-step in helping all students have access to the necessary resources – namely qualified and licensed teachers who are empowered to innovate – to receive a quality education.
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