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NCTEâ��S Recommendations for Changes in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
Professional organizations lose credibility when they ask for more money for bad legislation. Not to mention a so-called action alert that tells members to write a letter to their Congressional representative. Can't we expect more of our professional organizations than this?
NCTE Action Alert
Why Should I Ask My Members of Congress to Support the NCTE Recommendations for Changes in NCLB?
The NCLB Act is due for reauthorization this year. So far, as many as 130 leading education organizations have filed position statements on NCLB. The NCTE Executive Committee has approved recommendations that align with NCTEÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s values and the best research in the field. It is vital that our voice be heard by the those who have the power to make changes in the law, so the changes that are made will be in the best interest of the entire literacy education community -- students, teachers, and schools.
What Are the Changes NCTE Recommends for NCLB?
NCTE recommends that
Multiple assessments and multiple forms of evidence be used to determine student and school progress.
Assessment data be made available to teachers in a timely fashion so they can use it to shape instruction.
Congress increase federal funding for capacity building in schools and districts by setting aside Title II funds for the ongoing professional development of educators, not merely for class size reduction (the focus of most current spending).
Federal programs be designed to support highly prepared, experienced teachers in schools with the greatest number of high-need students.
Providers of supplementary services also be highly prepared teachers.
For state NCLB grant review, an objective peer review system be adopted that empowers independent panels of scholars representing multiple perspectives to make recommendations on the basis of observable data.
A definition of "scientifically based reading research" that aligns with that of the National Research Council, emphasizing peer review and multiple methodologies, be incorporated into the law.
Growth models be adopted as ways to track increased achievement and provide longitudinal data based on the performance of individual students and subgroups instead of the existing Adequate Yearly Progress measure.
Note that a detailed list of NCTE's Recommendations for Changes in the NCLB Act has already been sent to both the Senate and House committees on education.
What Should I Do?
Take time to write to ask your Members of Congress to support NCTE's Recommendations for Changes in NCLB.
Take time to visit your Members of Congress or their aides in your home district during the Spring Recess: for the Senate until April 10 and for the House until April 16.
Use the NCTE Visit Your Legislator guidelines and resources for making an appointment.
Use the NCLB information above as an anchor for your discussion.
Tell your own story of what you know works or is needed to improve the No Child Left Behind Act.
Don't forget to send a thank you note after your visit and include any information you may have offered to provide during your visit -- an email will do.
What Is the No Child Left Behind Act?
* NCLB or the No Child Left Behind Act is the version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) authorized by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002. Reading First is the K-3 Title I Reading portion of NCLB (Note this program has undergone a government audit which found corruption and mismanagement in the way the Department of Education handled the grants process).
* The law was authorized for five years and, so, is up for reauthorization this year.
* The stated purpose of the Act is "To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind."
* The law provides definitions on a wide number of educational terms from highly qualified teachers to scientifically based research to the sorts of lessons teachers should use.
* States apply for money to support their educational programs through grant applications to the U.S. Department of Education.
* In turn, each state must measure every public school student's progress in reading and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12. These assessments must be aligned with state academic content and achievement standards.
* States must provide parents with objective data on where their child stands academically [in] easy-to-read, detailed report cards on schools and districts, telling...which ones are succeeding and why.
* States must insure that all teachers of core academic subjects be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year.
National Council of Teachers of English
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