14. “Struggling Students”

The National Education Association of the United States has 3.2 million-members. Members “…are the voice of education professionals. Our work is fundamental to the nation, and we accept the profound trust placed in us” (NEA).

The NEA has endorsed recommendations for the “Overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).” Since enactment of ESEA, NEA has provided input to the ACT. NEA joins with 149 other national organizations to comment on the reauthorization of ESEA:

“We endorse the use of an accountability system that helps ensure all children, including children of color, from low-income families, with disabilities, and of limited English proficiency, are prepared to be successful, participating members of our democracy.”

CONCERNS

Over-emphasis of standardized testing
Narrow instruction focused on testing skills
Over-identification of schools needing improvement
Sanctions against failing schools
Exclusion of low-scoring children to boost test results
Inadequate funding of ESEA

CHANGES

Improve measurement by charting growth
Build capacity by improving personnel training
Replace sanctions with improvement determination
Improve funding of the ACT

“The American public and educators agree with the need for changes. According to the 2007 Gallup Poll for Phi Delta Kappan magazine, eight out of 10 Americans believe that teaching to the test is a bad thing. The 2008 poll found that 42 percent of the public believes NCLB “should be changed significantly” and another 25 percent support allowing the law to expire. Only 16 percent of the public believes the law should be extended without change. A June 2006 poll of NEA members found that almost 70 percent disapprove of NCLB, and 85 percent believe there is too much reliance on standardized testing.”

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