The 73,000-member NCAE is the first major group to offer its endorsement in the 2002 Senate campaign.
Blue was chosen by the NCAE political committee from among the eight candidates vying to fill the seat that will be left open after Sen. Jesse Helm, R-N.C., retires this year.
The committee's recommendation still has to be approved by the general body membership of the NCAE.
"(The committee) endorsed Blue because of his continued support of education in the last 21 years," said Carolyn McKinney, NCAE president.
McKinney cited Blue's establishment of funds for low-wealth schools, support of experience-based salary scales and creation of the "Rainy Day Fund" as reasons for NCAE's endorsement.
"Education has always been on the front burner for Dan Blue," she said.
Blue campaign spokesman Daniel Drum said the endorsement would give the Blue campaign a boost.
"It can be a tremendous springboard for the campaign across the state," Drum said. "It gives us a tremendous volunteer base. We can use every school across the state."
Drum said the endorsement reflects Blue's commitment to education in the N.C. General Assembly. But Drum said Blue had no specific federal education proposals at the present time.