Call Your Representatives About ESEA –
For the first time in 12 years, a bill is expected to come to the floor of Congress to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as NCLB. The Student Success Act, HR5, introduced by Rep. Kline, may be voted on in the House as soon as this week. We sent out a message earlier this week that unfortunately omitted links. Here is an update, with links attached. All parents, teachers and concerned citizens should call their House members this week; you can find theircontact info here and a script is below.
Here is a handy chart, produced by Parents Across America, analyzing H.R. 5 and showing its positive and negative aspects. Here is link to the bill and proposed amendments.
Please tell your House member that the bill should de-emphasize high-stakes testing — by eliminating the NCLB requirement that students must be tested annually in every grade 3-8th. The federal government should also get out of the business of mandating how teachers are evaluated; and stop linking teacher evaluation to test scores, which is unreliable, unfair and damaging to the quality of education.
Instead, they should refocus on the federal role to increase equity; by requiring states to submit plans on how they will improve equitable funding, and especially omit the unconscionable provision in HR5 that limits the amount of Title II funds that districts can spend on class size reduction to only 10%.
Title II funds are primarily used to provide teacher training and lower class size. Districts spend about 40% of these funds currently on reducing class size, a proven reform that helps all kids learn and narrows the opportunity gap.
Call the DC office of your Representatives, (you can find their contact info here) and ask to speak to their education staffer or legislative director.
Then say: I am a (parent, teacher, concerned constituent).
I want Rep. ____ to push to eliminate the federal requirement for annual standardized testing, and eliminate the federal role in prescribing how teachers should be evaluated.
Instead, the bill should focus on equity: by requiring that states submit plans showing how they will improve equitable funding in their schools, and by omitting ANY restriction on the amount of Title II funds that can be spent on class size reduction.
Smaller classes are a proven strategy to increase equity, and there is no better way to give all children a better chance to learn.