PRESS RELEASE from Strong American Schools

PRESS RELEASE -- August 22, 2007

Contact: Rachael Brown

Shannon Murphy


Washington, DC – Today Marc Lampkin, Strong American Schools’ Ed in ’08 executive director, posted a blog entry on the Huffington Post criticizing a recent release from the National Education Association that responded to the recent Democratic debate and the candidates’ positions on performance pay for teachers.

“Instead of celebrating the dawn of a true education debate, some groups want to end it.  For example, the National Education Association released a press statement that seems to imply all the candidates answered the question the exact same way—they were against it.

“Now that’s just mystifying to me.  Anyone who watched Sunday’s debate should have seen a difference of opinion among the candidates.  Yes, two candidates came out firmly against it.  But when Stephanopoulos said ‘no one on the stage is for merit pay for teachers,’ one candidate jumped in to say that he definitely is for it.  A second then asked for more time to clarify that he is for performance pay under certain circumstances.  And a third offered his own version of performance pay—providing competitive salaries to compete with fields like engineering for top college students.

“That’s exactly the kind of education debate we should be having—and the kind Americans deserve! Maybe the NEA just wasn’t watching closely.  Maybe they simply missed the point.  With American schools needing to hire 2 million new teachers over the next decade, we should all be discussing how to attract America’s best and brightest to teach our students—presidential candidates included.  Let’s not squelch that important debate just as it’s getting started.”

Editor’s note: Please contact the ED in ’08 press office at 202. 552. 4563 if you are interested in scheduling an interview with Marc Lampkin.

Lampkin’s entire blog can be found on The Huffington Post ( and on the ED in ’08 website (

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Strong American Schools, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a nonpartisan campaign supported by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation promoting sound education policies for all Americans.  SAS does not support or oppose any candidate for public office and does not take positions on legislation.