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NEA Vice President: Educators are committed to getting ESSA right for all students

Becky Pringle urges true collaboration to realize potential of greater opportunity for students within the law

WASHINGTON - February 23, 2016 -

Becky Pringle, a middle school science teacher and the Vice President of the National Education Association, will go before the U. S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to discuss the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the role educators will play in its implementation in states and school districts.

Congress passed the bipartisan ESSA after listening to the voices of educators speaking on behalf of their students’ needs. Since president Obama signed the bill into law, NEA has expressed its commitment to work closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to deliver on the promise of ESSA to provide more opportunities for all students regardless of ZIP code.

Below are select highlights from Pringle’s prepared testimony:

“…No one is more excited than our educators for the opportunity that the Every Student Succeeds Act provides for our students in the classroom, especially those students who are most in need.

“…This kind of monumental transition will require deep collaboration among multiple stakeholders, some of whom are not used to working together, and making sure more voices are at decision-making tables … It is only through the authentic commitment of all stakeholders to engage in the deep listening, professional respect and collective effort that this new law will be successful for all students…

“…The time to do this right is built into ESSA and we urge the U.S. Department of Education to set a good example by not rushing its part of the process for the sake of expediency…

“…It will take educators and parents, superintendents and school boards, state chiefs and state boards, state legislators and governors all putting aside our differences and working together with the best interests of students in mind…

“…We are ready to chart new pathways for student success, we are excited about the opportunity to help lead the change ahead of us, and we are ready.”

The rest of Pringle’s testimony, as prepared for delivery, is available by clicking on the following link. The testimony is embargoed until delivery.

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

Contact: Miguel A. Gonzalez