Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting ESEA back on track

Did you ever have a great idea and it started out going well and somewhere it took a wrong turn and ended up somewhere you didn't want to be?
In 1965. Lyndon Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
It's idea was to provide every child an education that gave them a fair chance, and every school the resources to be able to provide that.
It was a good idea.

It has been revised and tinkered with since then, sometimes to the good and other times.....
Now it is time to reauthorize the act.  
Pretty much everyone in education is in favor of reauthorization.
This is an opportunity to move it back to it's original goal.
High stake testing has become the norm.
Testing is helpful if it ensures that children say, in Alabama, are getting a quality education, just like children in New York.
It is not helpful, if so much time is spent teaching students how to do well on the test, that valuable time is lost teaching.
It is not helpful if schools in poorer communities, or with a high ratio of English as a Second Language Learners (ESL), or a high number of students with disabilities, do poorly on the standardized tests through no fault of their own.
In some cases these schools may even be closed due to this!
Obviously, this was not the original indent of the act.

My education friends understand all this.
They live this.

It's time for us "non-education" people to help out.  They're our students too.
Below is a short article from AFT and a link.
Would you please take a look and help out by signing the petition?
Let's get back on track.

Getting ESEA back to its promise

Reporter magazineThis year, all signs point to Congress reauthorizing our keystone education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the ESEA in 1965, it was a centerpiece of the War on Poverty. The law was designed to ensure that every school got the resources to teach students, particularly in neighborhoods that are not wealthy. But the law’s core principles of equity and opportunity have been overwhelmed since the last major overhaul (known as No Child Left Behind), and it has taken on a devastating obsession with high-stakes testing.
"Over the last 13 years, we've seen the ever-more corrosive effects of high-stakes testing," AFT President Randi Weingarten observed in a recentcolumn . "No Child Left Behind has failed to accomplish its goals, and its only real legacy is a standardized testing regime that’s squeezing the joy of learning from our schools." To craft the next version of ESEA, she adds,"Let's start here: All students deserve a high-quality public education, and teachers need the resources and support that will allow them to teach."

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