Monday, February 16, 2015

What has NCLB wrought ?

Lily Ekelsen Garcia, President NEA
I have a pop quiz for you.
In 2001, before No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was passed, there were six federally-mandated tests per student. Guess how many there are now?
  • 6
  • 8
  • 10
  • 17
The answer: 17
Let that sink in for a minute...17 federally-mandated tests. And that's on TOP of all the other state and local assessments that are being administered. 
But that's not even the real issue. It's the high stakes that are tied to those tests and the lack of attention on what really matters - the opportunities we're providing our students across ALL zip codes.
That is the real heart of the problem. Join me in speaking up about it now.
Right now, Congress is reauthorizing this cornerstone piece of education legislation - the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) or No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
It's a HUGE deal that will dictate not only the amount of time students spend on testing, but also the resources like advanced courses, extracurriculars, and access to school counselors - they receive. 

There really isn't any aspect of our students' educations that isn't touched by the current action being debated by Congress. That's why I need you to stand with me more than ever: 
Since being adopted, No Child Left Behind has made no real progress in closing achievement and opportunity gaps for our students. Instead, it has perpetuated a system that delivers unequal opportunities and uneven quality to America's children.
This system of unequal opportunity makes it impossible for educators to do what is most important: instill a love of learning in their focus on the WHOLE child.
I need you to stand with me and tell representatives to shift the focus back to student learning and opportunity, and away from testing, labeling, and punishing schools. 
The more people who speak up, the more Congress will see that educators and voters like you are paying attention. They'll have to do what's right for all our students. 
We must make sure Congress gets it right this time. Speak up here.
Thank you for taking action for our students.
!Si se puede!
- Lily
P.S. If you want to get extra credit, please ask your friends and colleagues to sign as well by forwarding this email and clicking here. Every single signature will count! 

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