By Megan Wolfe, Advocacy Manager, Public Policy, ASCD
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This action is crucial to providing our schools with stability and a long-term vision of success—but representatives need your input on what works best.
As the House prepares to vote on the Student Success Act (H.R.5), ASCD is asking educators to tell their U.S. representatives to pass a bill that supports the whole child. Below are two key recommendations for the House to consider when voting:
- Incorporate Multiple Measures: H.R.5 would allow states to develop their own accountability systems that have the potential to eliminate many of the current requirements that lead to a narrowed curriculum, an emphasis on test preparation, and inappropriate school personnel decisions. Unfortunately, state-developed systems could still overemphasize the role of standardized test results in high-stakes decision making. Urge your representative to ensure that H.R.5 includes language clarifying that state test results should not be used as the sole measure of student performance, educator effectiveness, or school quality.
- Eliminate Funding Portability: A funding portability provision in H.R.5 allows federal Title I funds—used to meet the needs of disadvantaged students—to follow a child to the public school of his or her choice instead of directing the funding to districts and schools with large proportions of low-income, high-need students. The portability provision undermines the current formula and purpose of Title I by siphoning investments away from the schools that truly need them, and it creates significant budget and planning challenges at the school level. Ask your representative to eliminate this portability provision and keep the Title I formula as is.
Reauthorization of ESEA is necessary to provide stable, transparent, and uniform policies that are applicable to all states and districts. Act now and tell your U.S. representatives to pass an ESEA reauthorization bill that supports the whole child.
To stay up to date with the latest ESEA news, visit www.ascd.org/esea.