PRESS RELEASE from the National Education Association

Contact: Stacey Grissom

April 25, 2007

South Carolina Teachers Challenge Democratic Candidates to Make Public Education Top Domestic Priority
ORANGEBURG, S.C. —The South Carolina Education Association (SCEA) mounted a statewide radio advertising campaign today in an effort to persuade Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination to move public education to the top of their domestic agenda.

Eight Democratic candidates will face off for the nation’s first major presidential primary debate in Orangeburg, S.C., on the campus of South Carolina State University on Thursday, April 26.  The SCEA radio ads will run on multiple stations in 12 cities around the state prior to and on the day of the debate.

The message?

“The Democratic candidates for President owe it to all of us to lay out their vision for public education,” says SCEA President Sheila Gallagher, “and to make clear where they stand on changing the failed federal No Child Left Behind law that forces teachers to teach to a federally mandated test instead of teaching to the student.

We’re making it clear to all the candidates with these radio ads that we’ll be listening closely and holding them accountable for how they respond to the needs of America's children and their public schools.”

Four of the eight candidates participating in Thursday’s debate serve on key congressional committees that will soon be debating the reauthorization of the controversial federal education law.

“The No Child Left Behind law sets state and local mandates without federal funding, ignores the professional judgment of those in the classroom, and does nothing to guarantee every child’s basic right to a great public school,” says Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association.  “After five years, it’s clear that No Child Left Behind is a slogan and not a solution when it comes to improving our nation’s public schools.  Parents and educators all over the country want to know how potential future presidents will approach making the law more responsive to the real needs of students.”


The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers