We have an opportunity to shape education for our members and their students for years to come. For too long educators’ voices have not been listened to when it comes to federal policy. No one knows better than our members what a reduction in high stakes testing and a greater understanding of opportunity could mean for our students.
It is critical that we take action today!
Below are links and downloadable resources for member outreach:
Important Talking Points:
Tell Congress a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) must mean opportunity for all, and time to learn
Since adopted 12 years ago, No Child Left Behind has made no significant progress in closing achievement and opportunity gaps for students. Instead, it has perpetuated a system that delivers unequal opportunities and uneven quality to America’s children making it impossible for educators to do what is most important: instill a love of learning in their students.
Now is the time for educators to make their voices heard!
As educators, we have a chance to set a new vision for a public education system that promotes opportunity and excellence for ALL students.
In order for Congress to get the law right this time, we need every educator to tell members of Congress to make sure that any new federal education bill does three things:
1. Creates more opportunities for all students to receive a quality education, no matter their zip code
Replace the one-size-fits-all, top-down approach with a new “school dashboard” of indicators to identify opportunity gaps and reveal gaps in some of the basic components of a high-quality, well-rounded education that prepares each student for college and/or a career.
2. Allows more time for students to learn and more time for teachers to teach
Testing takes time away from learning. We must reduce the emphasis on federally-mandated standardized tests that would free up time and resources, diminish “teaching to the test,” and allow educators to focus on what is most important: instilling a love of learning in their students.
A revised ESEA should include a proven approach called “grade-span” testing which would test students in English, Math and Science once in elementary school, once in middle school and once in high school.
3. Ensures every student has a qualified educator who is empowered to lead
We need to build a pipeline of diverse, fully qualified educators who are available to every student in every zip code, and who are prepared to teach in today’s classrooms on day one.
Educators care about their students. We must ensure they have authority to do their job and lead on behalf of their students.
ESEA is moving fast in both chambers of Congress and they must hear from those who know best what ESEA reauthorization should look like: educators. Now is the time to raise your voice and fight for more time for students to learn, more time for teachers to teach, and opportunity for all students to receive a quality education.