“We applaud Congress for getting the job done—passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—and doing what is right for students, teachers, and public education,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “ESSA represents a new beginning for students who have suffered too long under Connecticut’s failed policies of top-down reform and a broken system where excessive test prep and standardized testing rules the classroom.”
The U.S. Senate today passed ESSA after it passed the House last week. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law tomorrow. Read CEA’s news release here.
“ESSA gives students new opportunities, support, tools, and time to learn,” said Cohen.
The bipartisan bill reauthorizes the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The most recent version of ESEA, known as No Child Left Behind, was signed into law by President Bush in 2002. Read more
NEA Government Relations Director Mary Kusler updated CEA members on ESEA reauthorization at the start of the 2015 CEA Summer Leadership Conference.
NEA Government Relations Director Mary Kusler told Connecticut teachers gathered this morning for the start of the CEA Summer Leadership Conference that the Congressional Conference Committee finalizing an overhaul of federal education policy will make key decisions after Labor Day.
“We can start the school year with optimism that we can get this done,” Kusler said. She stressed, however, that strong teacher activism is necessary so that U.S. Senators and Representatives can send the best bill possible to President Obama’s desk.
“We have waited for 15 years for No Child Left Behind and its punitive measures to go away,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “We have made an important start this year, and we need to continue to advocate on behalf of our students.” Read more
CEA President Sheila Cohen discussed the Senate’s reauthorization of ESEA recently with Senator Chris Murphy in Washington D.C. Above Cohen and Vice President Jeff Leake speak with Murphy (center) during his visit to a past CEA Summer Leadership Conference.
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. Read more
Congress is working on a re-write to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) — the current iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Educators know firsthand how important it is that a new version of the law allows students to learn rather than focus on high-stakes standardized tests.
This is an important moment for American education. As educators we must make sure Congress gets new legislation right.
- Sign an NEA petition to share a new vision for public education and show Congress that educators and voters are paying attention.
- Contact your members of Congress and tell them that ESEA must promote opportunity for all and time to learn. Call 866-331-7233 or email your representatives and ask them to focus on three core goals.
- Create a new generation accountability system that includes an “opportunity dashboard” to ensure all students receive a quality education.
- Reduce the amount of mandated standardized testing, and allow more time for students to learn and more time for teachers to teach.
- Ensure every student has a qualified educator who is empowered to lead.
The debate over mandated standardized testing took center stage today as the Republican-controlled 114th Congress gets ready to make its mark on education policy. At issue is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and whether the nation’s education law should include a requirement that states annually test their students.
ESEA reauthorization is long overdue. The law hasn’t been reauthorized since 2001 when it was christened No Child Left Behind, and the consequences of its most recent iteration have been called off for most states due to waivers granted by the U.S. Department of Education.
Republicans have begun work on a rewrite to ESEA, and one aspect of the draft legislation that’s getting attention from President Obama’s administration is a proposal to end federally required annual testing. The legislation would instead allow states to design their own testing schedules. Read more