“Lessons from Canada” -- High level meeting of U.S. and Canadian teacher organizations examines how teachers are behind Canada’s strong public education system

January 07, 2011

OTTAWA…  What makes Canada’s public education strong, equitable and respected internationally and how do teachers and their unions contribute to this success? These questions will be at the forefront of discussions between the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the Washington-based National Education Association (NEA) in Ottawa Jan. 9-10.

“The 3.2-million member NEA is currently on a fact-finding mission to identify key elements and systems in place that contribute to a strong public education system,” explains CTF President Mary-Lou Donnelly.  “We are honored that the NEA considers Canada’s public education system as one of the best in the world and that it will use the information on Canada for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession to be held in New York, March 16-17, 2011.”

While in Ottawa, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will meet with Donnelly along with Canadian teacher leaders from across the country, as they discuss the essential components that lead to quality public education and the manner in which teacher unions contribute to its development.

“We are working hard to transform our schools so that every student in America has access to a great public school,” says Van Roekel.  “I am particularly interested in learning more about how Canadians recruit, educate and retain accomplished teachers, and discussing how we can elevate our members’ voices in important policy discussions .”

The International Summit on the Teaching Profession is being convened by the U.S. Department of Education, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI), together with U.S.-based planners—the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Asia Society and WNET, a leading public television station in the U.S.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation speaks for nearly 200,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on education and related social issues.  CTF is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education International.

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Comments: Mary-Lou Donnelly, CTF President
Dennis Van Roekel, NEA President
Contact: Francine Filion, CTF Communications Director, 613-688-4314 or 613-899-4247 (cell)