No Child Left Behind Recharged

Weaver set the tone for the Representative Assembly and for the year ahead by demanding that there would be no more excuses from lawmakers, community leaders, parents or educators. He called on delegates to build community support for NEA efforts to improve student performance.

Weaver said that in addition to small class sizes and parental involvement, fully-funded pre-Kindergarten programs would be a major step in the right direction toward closing gaps in student achievement. He said those programs are a major opportunity to level the academic learning field, and to help students realize the joy of learning at an early age.

Delegates tackled tough issues facing public education, but also celebrated the achievements of quality public schools. NEA honored the national teacher of the year, education support professional of the year, and 14 individuals from across the country who have fought tirelessly to promote social justice and dignity for all citizens. NEA presented its Friend of Education Award to the Tom Joyner Foundation, which has raised more than $30 million for students at historically Black colleges and universities across the nation.

Members celebrated the 40

th anniversary of the merger between NEA and the predominantly Black American Teachers Association, honoring trailblazers who shaped the face of public education -- especially education for Black students throughout the South and Southeast.

And more than 300 NEA volunteers helped paint, landscape and clean up a local elementary school, along with taking time out to read to local children as part of NEA's Read Across America.

"We all have a responsibility to create quality public schools, and lawmakers are no exception," Weaver said. "Educators are heading back home now, and they'll be reminding them of that responsibility. Great public schools depend on educators, parents, community leaders and members of Congress, and none of us should be making any excuses for not living up to that task."

For more information and a full listing of scheduled events: