Education International
Education International

US and Canadian teachers share learning for strong public education

published 13 January 2011 updated 13 January 2011

The underlying reasons for Canada’s educational success have been explored in a joint learning exercise between the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the USA’s National Education Association (NEA).

The educational standing of Canada’s public education system is ranked among the best in the world, and is widely attributed to the efforts of Canada’s well-educated, highly dedicated teachers.

The two unions, NEA and CTF, met in Ottawa from 9-10 January to discuss Canada’s strong, equitable and internationally respected public education system.

Speaking after the event, NEA President, Dennis Van Roekel, said: “We are working hard to transform our schools so that every student in America has access to a great public school. I am particularly interested in learning more about how Canada recruits, retains and educates such accomplished teachers. By discussing these ideas we can elevate our own members’ voices in important policy discussions.”

Adding her support to the venture between fellow EI affiliates, CTF President, Mary-Lou Donnelly, said: “The NEA has 3.2-million members and is trying to identify key elements within systems that lead to strong, public education. We are honoured that the NEA considers Canada’s public education system as one of the best in the world.”

The NEA will use the information it has gathered in Canada at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession which will be held in New York, from 16-17 March. The event will gather key figures from the US Department of Education, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), alongside Education International and its affiliates, as well as the event sponsors: the NEA, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Asia Society and WNET, a leading public television station in the US.

EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, added: “Teachers’ qualifications play a critical role in the success of free, public education for all, and the well-being of societies in general. These themes will be at the core of this event. I want to congratulate Canadian teachers for their dedication and high performance, while paying tribute to all teachers around the world who work hard to help to prepare the next generation for 21st century challenges.”