U.S. Senators Debating Education Law: Urge Their Support of Opportunity Dashboard
The U.S. Senate is currently debating federal education policy that will impact the future of teaching and learning for years to come. Educators know firsthand how important it is that a new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) allows time for students to learn and ensures educational opportunity for every child.
That’s why CEA leaders and members have been communicating with their senators and urging support for a “dashboard” of core indicators that will help states and districts identify and begin to close opportunity and resource gaps. CEA members have emphasized that all students must have access to a well-rounded education, no matter where they live.
When CEA President Sheila Cohen met with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy last month in Washington, D.C., to discuss the ESEA reauthorization bill, she stressed teachers’ concerns about the overtesting ushered in by the current iteration of ESEA—also known as No Child Left Behind.
“Educational assessments should not simply involve a high-stakes test or other solitary factor but should include data and reported gaps in resources, support, programs, and other indicators of school quality. These indicators should include factors such as: advanced coursework; numbers of fully qualified teachers, paraprofessionals and specialized support personnel; high-quality early education programs; health and wellness; and arts and athletics,” Cohen said.
CEA elected delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) have also been at the forefront on this issue, contacting their senators in droves. The strength of CEA members’ united political action at the RA made Connecticut one of only a handful of states with 100% percent of delegates contacting their senators.
Now you can do your part. Visit Get ESEA Right and call your senators—1-866-331-7233. Ask them to vote yes on NEA’s Opportunity Dashboard amendment.
The Senate will vote on a final ESEA bill by midday Thursday at the latest. The Senate bill will then need to be negotiated with the House of Representatives, which passed its own version of the bill last week.