by Brian Washington
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Educators are calling on Congress “not to lose focus” when it comes to the needs of students and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, otherwise known as No Child Left Behind.
Several education groups, including the National Education Association, which represents more than 3-million active, retired. and student educators nationwide, sent a joint letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week saying students cannot wait any longer for a revised law.
It’s true–ESEA reauthorization cannot wait. America’s students, parents and educators need a new law that moves past No Child Left Behind. Any new law should maintain the historic purpose of ESEA by preserving the focus on low-income students and equity, and ultimately focus on delivering the high-quality education that all our children deserve.
Some of the groups who signed on to the letter include the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National PTA.
Educators are also speaking up all across the country and making their voices heard on Capitol Hill.
“The new version of ESEA that has been approved by the Senate will help every student in my commonwealth, Pennsylvania. It will go a long way in helping to close achievement gaps. It’s time for lawmakers in the House and Senate to get together and approve a final bill—one that will ensure our students a quality education, regardless of their zip code. We need the Senate’s version of the bill.” – Rudolph Burruss, Education Support Professional in State College, PA
“Congress needs to finish the work they started on ESEA, particularly with the Opportunity Dashboard. This is the first time in many years that we will be able to truly look at the things that affect a child’s education and make informed decisions to improve schools, instead of trying to reduce kids to some meaningless number on a pointless test.” — John Havlicek Teacher in La Crosse, WI
“We need to pass the Elementary and Secondary Education Act now. My students are crushed under a system that is built to defeat students, not raise them up. Our current system honors and elevates high stakes testing – tying students’ futures to a test score is not acceptable. Please get ESEA passed before the end of 2015. Our students deserve better.” – Judy Harris, Middle School Language Arts teacher in Central Point, Oregon
Both the House and Senate passed their own ESEA proposals in July, but now it’s time to take the best of both bills and come up with a final version—one that creates opportunity for all students.