Educators sound off: It’s time Congress gave our students a new, better ESEA


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.

PA educator Rudy Burruss

“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


OR educator Judy Harris

“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.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your members of Congress to finish ESEA reauthorization now. Everyone agrees that our students need a better law!

Reader Comments

  1. The Testing Industry (The Big Four: Harcourt Educational Measurement, CTB McGraw-Hill, Riverside Publishing (a Houghton Mifflin company), and NCS Pearson) has become $$$Big Business$$$ tapping into between a $400 – $700 Million testing market value.

    Couple this private industry boom with right wing “profit protectors,” whose campaign funds depend on those from our local Chambers of Commerce on up to the legions of lobbyists, the business experts and their teams of lawyers that represent “multinational” business interests to The Wall Street financial districts and Banks, and you have a potent incentive for “business as usual.”

    If this is so, it is not out of the question that right wing think tanks like ALEC, The Heritage Foundation, Free Congress Foundation, The CATO Institute, etc., all of which favor the $$$privatization$$$ of our schools, are conspiring to make public schools look bad by publishing State test scores derived from standardized tests with multiple choice selections that are so ambiguous that even our sharpest public school students have trouble with them, let alone our IEP and 504 students. Meanwhile, are ALL private schools mandated by the Federal Government under No Child Left Behind to administer these test? The answer is NO! Any conspiracy theorists out there?

  2. Why not wait and see if there is someone in the White House after the 2016 election who won’t veto absolute REPEAL of No Child Left Behind and related legislation? Why push forward with reauthorization of something everyone admits is flawed simply because it’s better than what we currently have? Seems to me it would be better to lobby to scrap the whole system and go back to the drawing board. That wasn’t possible under the current administration, but why not wait to see what happens in 2016?

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