Calling all parents! Whether your child is in elementary, middle or high school, and even if your child is still in preschool, and, yes, even if your little one is still at home with you, please take five minutes to read this post and the following two articles that will directly affect ALL of our children across the nation who attend public schools. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, more commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is “outmoded and broken.” Yes, that is a direct quote from our U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. We need a better law. Period. The tricky part is getting Republicans and Democrats to work together on writing a bill both sides of the political aisle can rally around. Currently, Republicans are supporting the House bill (which passed in July) and Democrats are backing the Senate bill (which is looking towards floor consideration later this fall). NCLB is years overdue for an update. What is clear is that we need a system that allows educators greater freedom while continuing to fulfill the law’s original promise to close the achievement gap, to provide all children with fair and equal opportunities to achieve an excellent education, and to ensure high academic standards and accountability.
“The start of the school year also marks the end of the congressional recess. And this fall, Congress’s education ‘to do’ list includes updating the federal statute governing America’s public schools. If Congress doesn’t act this year, there may not be any action for another four years (owing to the political pressures connected to the midterm elections in 2014 and the presidential election in 2016). With the left and the right agreeing that reform of the law is long overdue, there’s an urgent need for action this fall.”
The above is an excerpt of the full article in US News & World Report by Nina Rees, the President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nina-rees/2013/09/09/3-ways-obama-and-congress-can-move-school-reform-forward
Please also consider reading the Op-Ed by Arne Duncan which was originally posted in the August 25th edition of The Washington Post.
Below is a short excerpt:
“The vision of American education that President Obama and I share starts in the classroom — with fully engaged students, creative and inspiring teachers, and the support and resources needed to get every child prepared for college and career. Students in our poorest communities should enjoy learning opportunities like those in our wealthiest communities. Zip code, race, disability and family income should not limit students’ opportunities or reduce expectations for them. The progress of U.S. students should remain transparent.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts so please comment! As parents our voices and, most importantly, our VOTES, really do matter. It is up to each one of us to advocate not only on behalf of our children and our individual schools, but also for ALL children and all public schools across our nation.