Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides a real opportunity to create legislation that serves all groups of children equitably. Done right, a new law will keep federal, state, and local leaders honest about efforts to educate all children to high levels, especially students of color and those from low-income households. If not constructed thoughtfully, the law could hurt children.
Gutting major provisions around assessment, transparency, and accountability could return us to a time when the academic performance of some students was hidden.
Follow the latest news and opinion on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as developments unfold.
New York Times Editorial, February 21, 2015
Congress made the right decision a decade ago when it required states to administer yearly tests to public school students — and improve instruction for poor and minority students — in return for federal education aid.
Posted on Huffington Post by Kati Haycock on February 18, 2015
At first, our coalition of national civil rights, business, and disabilities organizations may seem like odd bedfellows. Indeed, during the course of a typical year, these organizations disagree on many matters of public policy.
THE U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Council of La Raza, Business Roundtable and the Education Trust disagree about many things. That makes all the more significant their common accord that the country can’t afford to retreat from policies that aim to give every child — regardless of race, ability or family income — access to a quality education. We hope it’s a message that Congress doesn’t lose sight of as it undertakes a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind act.
Posted on The Equity Line by Rachel Metz on February 12, 2015
This week, congressional staffers and others had a too-infrequent opportunity to hear from teachers about the role of assessments in education. During a Hill briefing, teachers with Teach Plus spoke from their diverse perspectives, but they all echoed a common theme: High-quality assessments — ones that are aligned to curriculum, measure growth among students at all achievement levels, and ask complex questions — are an invaluable tool for instruction. Here’s what they had to say:
Posted on The Equity Line by Kati Haycock on February 2, 2015
It’s a common refrain on Capitol Hill that the new education law Congress is working on right now should get the federal government out of micromanaging American public schools, letting states and communities decide how to educate their children.
Posted on The Equity Line by Sonja Brookins Santelises on January 27, 2015
As an educator who has spent nearly all of her professional life in urban education, I am deeply concerned about the direction that current (and admittedly much-needed) discussions about over-testing in our public schools has taken.
Posted on The Equity Line by Deborah Veney on January 22, 2015
have a very personal connection to annual testing.
When my daughter began elementary school, I decided to enroll her in a school with ethnic and economic diversity. I didn’t want her to be the only little, black girl in her class, but I also didn’t want to sacrifice academic rigor.
Posted on The Equity Line by Matt De Ferranti on January 21, 2015
Today’s Senate hearing on assessments and accountability reaffirms why annual statewide testing used to prompt meaningful action is essential for continuing the academic progress we’ve seen for students and schools over the last decade.
Posted on The Equity Line by Kati Haycock on January 11, 2015
Today, a large coalition of civil rights and disabilities organizations — including The Education Trust — released its top priorities for Congress to consider when reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as ESEA, later this year. Among those priorities, at least one might come as a bit of a surprise: continuation of the federal requirement that states test all students in grades three through eight once a year, and again at least once during high school.
Posted on The Equity Line by Kati Haycock on January 14, 2015
The joint proposal for ESEA reauthorization from the Center for American Progress and the American Federation of Teachers shows that bad policy ideas aren’t limited to the far right. If adopted, these policies would return us to a time when how much students learned hardly mattered (that is, to anybody but them).
Want to have a better grasp of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? We respond to the significant developments to help you make sense of the details and let you know where we stand.
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 24 undersigned organizations, we urge you to support Ranking Member Scott’s Substitute Amendment to H.R. 5, the Student Success Act. The substitute maintains important federal protections for our nation’s students and is a much needed update to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The amendment replaces the outdated, rigid mandates of No Child Left Behind, and promotes local and state reforms while maintaining bedrock equity protections for all students.
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 47 undersigned organizations, we urge you to oppose H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, introduced by Chairman Kline. H.R. 5 undermines important federal protection for our nation’s students, particularly children of color; children living in poverty; children with disabilities; homeless, foster, and migrant children; children in the juvenile justice system; children still learning English; and Native children. This bill is not a much needed update to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Rather, it is a rollback to a time when the needs of students in underserved communities were ignored.
WASHINGTON (February 11, 2015) – Today, The Education Trust issued the following statement expressing our disappointment with the House Education Committee’s passing of Chairman John Kline’s “Student Success Act” or H.R. 5.
“Each previous iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, moved the country forward on correcting longstanding injustices in its educational systems. Unless it is significantly improved as it moves through Congress, the Student Success Act will turn back the clock.”
At the core of the federal Title I program is a bargain: a significant investment of federal dollars for disadvantaged students and a demand for significantly improved outcomes for those students in return. This brief focuses on the investment side. It examines the likely effect of the “portability” provisions currently under consideration as a part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We first explain current law and the proposed changes. Then we present data on the impact of these proposed changes across multiple states, focusing on how districts serving the highest concentrations of students in poverty would lose money at the expense of those districts serving the fewest.
Ranking Member Scott and other members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, thank you for the opportunity to address the importance of making sure all students matter in any reauthorization of ESEA that moves forward. In 2001, this committee put the finishing touches on a law that would go on to fundamentally reshape what it means to be a good school in America. Prior to that time, of course, schools could skate by on schoolwide averages, sweeping under the rug the large gaps in achievement among different groups of children. But you changed that when you declared that, in order to be a good school, you had to be good for every group of children that you served. All children had to be assessed and the results for all groups of children had to matter.
Dear Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Murray, and other members of the Senate HELP Committee:
Thank you for your efforts to jump-start the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. While current law has helped to prompt the fastest improvement since 1980 in the achievement of the very children who are the primary focus of federal education policy, the law has become outdated and, in some places, unworkable. We have learned a lot as a country in the 13 years since it was signed — lessons that should be reflected in a new, forward-looking law. While the Chairman’s discussion draft of the Every Child Ready for College or Career Act builds on some of those, we appreciate the opportunity to offer comments aimed at improving the draft to respond to other of those lessons.
Washington – Today, a coalition of leaders from the business, education, civil rights, and disability communities issued a joint letter calling on Congress to ensure that a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) includes:
- Annual, statewide assessments of all students grades three to eight, and at least once in high school;
- Public reporting of assessment results in a transparent and accessible way; and
- Accountability systems that expect faster improvement for the groups of children who have been traditionally underserved, and prompt action when any group of students underperforms.
Washington – More than 20 civil rights groups and education advocates released shared civil rights principles for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
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