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NEA announces partnership with Educators Rising

The collaboration will define the first steps on a “road to accomplished teaching”

WASHINGTON - January 11, 2016 -

The National Education Association (NEA) today announced a partnership with Educators Rising, a new national organization that cultivates highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path to becoming accomplished teachers, starting in high school.

The NEA partnership agreement comes as a $250,000 grant award that will be used specifically for the development of Educators Rising Standards, which aim to back-map professional teaching standards — what teachers need to know and be able to do — into an earlier, pre-collegiate stage of teacher recruitment and development.

The Educators Rising Standards will be developed through a committee process developed and employed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The standards will form the bedrock for curriculum and micro-credentials — competency-based recognitions — for “grow your own” teacher pipeline programs in high schools across the country.

"We know the future of our children's education depends on having skilled, empowered educators working with every student. Our students deserve the best and brightest educators. We need to proactively recruit bright young people into teaching, with special focus on increasing diversity and attracting the most creative, competent career professionals,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “NEA is confident that our new collaboration with Educators Rising is the start of a long and productive relationship, and we are enthusiastic about supporting this groundbreaking effort to elevate the teaching profession in order to ensure that all of our students succeed."

As communities across the nation face teacher shortages and declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs, Educators Rising aims to increase the supply of skilled future teachers through engaging teenagers in exploring the teaching profession through elective courses and hands-on teaching internships.

“Over 60 percent of teachers teach within 20 miles of where they went to high school, so it’s crucial for every community to invest in growing their own great teachers. Each community’s future teaching workforce is on the student side of the desks today,” said Educators Rising Co-Director Dan Brown, a National Board Certified Teacher. “Thanks to NEA’s leadership, these Educators Rising Standards will provide much-needed clarity for how communities can grow their own highly skilled, well-prepared teachers who are fired up to make a difference through teaching.”

Educators Rising Standards will be published in May 2016. Based on the standards, Educators Rising micro-credentials will be developed in partnership with Digital Promise and published in September 2016.

Educators Rising launched in August 2015 as a national network supporting grow-your-own teacher programs across the country. Since its launch, more than 12,000 students and teacher leaders in over 1,000 schools across the country have joined the movement. Educators Rising has eleven state and two regional affiliates.

Originally founded as Future Teachers of America in 1937 by NEA, Educators Rising is powered by PDK International, a professional association for educators.

“Educators Rising offers a key piece of systems-level solutions to elevate great teaching and learning — the engagement and recruitment of promising prospective teachers from their own communities,” said PDK International CEO Joshua Starr, Ed.D. “NEA’s leadership in this effort is evidence of its commitment to break new ground in the never ending work for meaningful student growth and achievement within the public education system.”

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About NEA

The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

About Educators Rising

Educators Rising, powered by PDK International, is transforming how America develops aspiring teachers. Starting with high school students, we provide passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustain their interest in the profession, and help them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators. The result is a pipeline of accomplished teachers who are positioned to make a lasting difference—not only in the lives of their students, but also in the field of teaching more broadly. Learn more at

Contact: Celeste F. Busser, Senior Press Officer