Tuesday, December 02, 2003

US Rep. Strickland(D-Ohio) Proposes Legislation to Amend NCLB

Finally something to contact your Congressional Rep and Senators about NCLB.
It looks like the National Education Association (NEA) with US Rep Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) has been working hard to introduce legislation to amend NCLB.
    The National Education Association, on behalf of 2.7 million member-educators, supports the Student Testing Fairness Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio). The proposed legislation would make much-needed changes to the latest revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as the `No Child Left Behind' law.

    The Strickland bill recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all prescription for student achievement. The bill would end reliance on a single test as a measure of a student's achievement, give schools credit for improving student academic growth over time, and create reasonable ways to measure the skills and progress of students with disabilities and limited-English language proficiency.

    Under the proposal (H.R. 3049), public school choice and supplemental services would be targeted specifically those students in subgroups that have failed to improve.

    "Clearly there is a problem with the rigid and unrealistic rules of the so-called 'No Child Left Behind' law when 87 percent of schools in Florida and 51 percent in Pennsylvania failed to meet federal standards this year," said Reg Weaver, NEA president. "Many of these schools are high-quality schools that have shown progress in improving student achievement."

    "Unless the new law is fixed, virtually all public schools will likely be labeled as failing to meet new federal standards over the next few years," Weaver said. "The Strickland bill still insists on holding schools accountable, but does so in a realistic and workable manner."

    The NEA and its affiliates remain committed to the goal of leaving no child behind by continuing to work on improving academic achievement, ensuring all students have a highly qualified teacher, up-to-date textbooks and technology. We urge Congress and the Administration to support reform efforts that we know will work, rather than impose unfunded mandates that hinder the progress and lower the standards that schools have already set for themselves.

The specific link for their proposed Great Public Schools legislation to amend NCLB is here.

Please contact your Senators and House rep. about HR 3049.
The NEA Legislative Action Center link is here. The specific link to the Great Public Schools legislation is this.
A summary of the status of HR 3049 is here.
About the NEA:
    NEA has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NEA has 2.7 million members who work at every level of education, from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliates in every state, as well as in more than 13,000 local communities across the United States.

    Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

    To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.

    In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "restoration of public confidence in public education."