Teaching Profession

Van Roekel Strikes Back

By Vaishali Honawar — September 05, 2008 1 min read
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Sen. John McCain’s swipe against Barack Obama and teacher unions at the Republican National Convention Thursday has provoked a suitably angry response from the National Education Association and its new president.

In his speech, about which you can read more on our Campaign K-12 blog, McCain said Obama, his Democrat rival, “wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucrats. I want schools to answer to parents and students.”

Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the 3.2 million-member NEA, which had 40 delegates at the convention, in a statement Friday called McCain “completely out of touch” with the needs of working families, educators, and students.

“John McCain could have used his acceptance speech to outline a plan for providing schools with the support and resources they need. He could have used his acceptance speech to respect the tireless work of educators and parents. He could have the used his acceptance speech to put forward a bold new education policy. Instead, he chose to vilify educators and praise school voucher schemes,” Van Roekel said.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.