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AFT’s Summer Education Conference Highlights National Education Leaders; Special Event Features Famous Actors and Writers Who Will Honor Their Favorite Public School Teachers


WASHINGTON, May 27 -- What do AFT President Edward J. McElroy, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, author Antwone Fisher, and actors Steve Buscemi and Joe Pantoliano have in common? They all will be at this summer’s exciting American Federation of Teachers’ QuEST educational issues conference.

QuEST (Quality Educational Standards in Teaching) will be held in Washington D.C. from July 7 to July 10. In the keynote address to approximately 3,000 teachers from across the nation, AFT President McElroy will discuss the AFT’s new campaign on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and other hot-button issues facing teachers. His speech will open the conference on Thursday, July 7, at 1 p.m.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is scheduled to speak on Friday, July 8, at 9:15 a.m. Also, Jack Jennings of the Center for Education Policy will discuss the 40-year history of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is now known as the NCLB Act. Also, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has been invited.

The AFT, in conjunction with The Creative Coalition, is hosting a special evening session on Thursday, July 7, in which several high profile actors and writers who attended public schools will discuss and honor a teacher who made a significant impact on their lives. Lawrence O’Donnell Jr., producer/writer on The West Wing, will moderate a panel featuring actor and Creative Coalition co-president Joe Pantoliano, actor/writer Antwone Fisher and actor Steve Buscemi.

In addition to the main sessions, the teachers will be attending scores of workshops on virtually every imaginable topic that involves teachers, teaching, the classroom, legal matters, and legislation. Reporters may cover all sessions. Reporters who need a hotel room, should contact Janet Bass as soon as possible.

WHAT: AFT’s biennial “QuEST” conference

WHEN: July 7 to July 10

WHERE: Washington Hilton & Towers, Washington, D.C.


The AFT represents 1.3 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; nurses and healthcare workers; and federal, state and local government employees.


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