PAA’s position: A New ESEA

A new ESEA: What parents value and how Congress should act

PAA recently published a position paper, “What is a Quality Education?,” which clearly describes the kind of education we want for our children. Here are our recommendations for changes in ESEA that will move us closer to making sure every child receives the kind of education that parents envision:

 Downloadable version of this position paper here.

Because a quality education is child-centered, a new ESEA should:

  • Curb high-stakes use of standardized tests by:
    • replacing federal annual testing mandates with grade span testing;
    • prohibiting the use of standardized test scores as significant determinants for grade promotion and graduation; and
    • specifying parents’ right to opt their children out of any standardized test without consequences.
  • Require that states develop high-quality assessment systems with significant input from parents and the community; assessments should be based primarily on students’ actual work and include multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Provide incentives and support for schools to enrich the curriculum rather than reduce learning to tested material.
  • Align the law with developmentally-appropriate educational practices, such as the need for play in early childhood classrooms.
  • Provide funding for lower class sizes.
  • Promote positive, non-discriminatory discipline policies and practices.
  • Increase funding for in- and out-of-school services and activities that benefit students and their families.

Because a quality education requires skilled professionals, a new ESEA should:

  • Cut funding for programs that put unprepared teachers in classrooms, most often in schools with the most challenges.
  • Call for limits in the use of adaptive technology and on-line learning, recognizing that the teacher/student relationship is paramount to supporting quality learning.
  • Fund high-quality teacher evaluation tools which avoid the misleading use of standardized test scores.

Because a quality education promotes justice, equity, and democracy, a new ESEA should:


Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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