September 9, 2008

Ohio Education Association Applauds Obama’s Comprehensive Approach to Education Reform


Contact: Michele Prater of OEA, +1-614-227-3071, +1-614-378-0469 (cell)

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Barack Obama chose Ohio as the place to lay out a comprehensive vision for public education in a speech at Stebbins High School in the Dayton area. Despite some mistaken analysis of the speech by the media, Obama's positions on a wide variety of issues are quite close to core beliefs of the National Education Association (NEA), the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and our members. OEA members applauded his approach - to rise above partisanship toward a vision for a public education system that works.

"Senator Barack Obama understands that reform takes time and dedication and that true reform requires more than quick fixes," said OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks. "His compelling vision and comprehensive strategies, both immediate and long-term, will pay dividends for our children, our communities and our state."

In his speech Barack Obama committed to:

-- fixing and funding NCLB - after eight years of unfunded mandates

-- enhanced programs for recruiting, preparing and retaining teachers

-- overcoming the overemphasis on high-stakes tests

-- promoting 21st century skills, innovation and creativity

-- expanding early childhood programs so children come to school prepared

to learn

-- calling for parental responsibility and involvement in the education

of their children - both at school and in the home

-- pushing college-level coursework in high schools, such as advanced

placement courses

-- holding the federal government accountable for its commitments on


-- finding "new ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with

teachers, not imposed on them," affirming collective bargaining


On charter schools, Obama said Ohio should not have to endure private for-profit charter school operators who continue to sponsor under-performing public schools. He promised to:

-- work with governors in all states to insist on more accountability and

transparency in the operation and academic performance evaluations of

charter schools.

-- help successful charter schools grow, but close down the ones that are


"Obama confirmed the OEA's longstanding belief that Ohio's charter schools are in desperate need of accountability and transparency," said Frost-Brooks.

The Ohio Education Association represents 130,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio's public schools, colleges and universities.

SOURCE Ohio Education Association

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