18 November 2008 10:00 AM

Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility

by Dr. Rick

(Today, we have the privilege of having National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel serve as our first guest blogger. Dennis will explain a little more about what the NEA has planned for American Education Week, so a big thank you to him for taking the time to share his words. Enjoy! –Dr. Rick)

As a 23-year teaching veteran, parent and president of the National Education Association, I know firsthand that great public schools are paramount to a student’s success in life.  Every student deserves a quality public education, regardless of family income or place of residence. 

At NEA, we believe that great public schools are a basic right for every student in America.  But we also know that making great public schools a reality requires everyone’s help.  Educators must be well-qualified and passionate, community leaders must be engaged in public education priorities, and parents must play a proactive role in their child’s education. 

During American Education Week, November 16–22, I ask you to join us and millions of Americans nationwide in urging everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great for every student.  To help you get involved in NEA’s great public schools effort, we are organizing individual celebration days throughout American Education Week.  They include: 

  • Monday, November 17: Open House Day. The theme of shared responsibility, great public schools and educators will be celebrated in schools nationwide.
  • Tuesday, November 18: Parents Day. Schools will invite parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child.  Check to see if your child’s school is organizing a special activity.  
  • Wednesday, November 19: Education Support Professionals Day. Individuals who provide invaluable services to schools will be recognized for their outstanding work.  Be sure to thank your child’s bus driver, cafeteria workers, administrative staff, and janitors!
  • Thursday, November 20: Educator for a Day. Community leaders will be invited into the classroom to serve as educators to get a glimpse at a day in the life of a school employee.
  • Friday, November 21: Substitute Educators Day.  This day honors the educators who are called upon to replace regularly employed teachers.

I encourage you to take part in activities by participating in a local event, getting involved in a school activity, or organizing an event of your own.  Be sure to visit www.nea.org/aew/toolkit.html to download NEA’s online toolkit for activity ideas, templates, resources and promotional materials.  For more information about NEA’s American Education Week, visit www.nea.org/aew.  Happy American Education Week!

-Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president


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