June 8, 2015

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García meets with Secretary Hillary Clinton

Interview is a required part of NEA’s recommendation process for the 2016 presidential campaign

WASHINGTON - June 08, 2015 - Today, NEA president Lily Eskelsen García met with Secretary Hillary Clinton as part of the Association’s recommendation process for the 2016 presidential campaign. NEA, the largest union in the country with nearly 3 million members, launched in earnest its recommendation process earlier this year. All viable presidential candidates from both political parties were invited to participate in NEA’s presidential recommendation process. Further below are excerpts from Secretary Hillary Clinton.

“Secretary Clinton and I had a frank and robust conversation about what is at stake in this upcoming election,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Recommending a candidate for president of the United States is a civic responsibility that educators take seriously. We know the stakes are high, and going through the process to pick the right candidate that represents the values of educators, students, and their families is critically important.”

“Educators are going to ask the tough questions that get to the heart of the issues that they, their students and families are facing every day. They see what is happening in their schools and communities. They know that all students deserve the support, tools, and time to learn. But are politicians willing to commit to the success of every student regardless of his or her zip code? That is the key question that educators will ask over and over again. Because when all students succeed, we not only create strong public schools, we are building a stronger America.”

Secretary Hillary Clinton: 
“My campaign is about making the economy work for everyday Americans; to rebuild the middle class so it means something again. I’m excited about what we can do. I don’t see this campaign as much as about me as about us. It starts with listening to each other.”

“What we can do together to deal with the issues we know are at the real core of making it possible to look at every little boy and girl and say ‘yes, you will have the best chances we can give you.’”

“Education is not just how well you do on a test. We know about a lot of different learning modes ant not every child learns the same way. We have funneled our kids into a particular educational model that I don’t think will ever produce the looked for results.”

“I would like to see us get back to looking at individual children, looking at age appropriate learning experiences, looking at enriching the classroom experience, using tests that are not done for the sake of getting a score but for actually diagnosing the needs of kids and helping those kids do better year after year.”

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The National Education Association (www.nea.org) is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.