While everyone agrees that something must be done about the system of education, very few have any idea what could or should be done to create a successful system of education for all of America’s children.
One reason could be that no one interested in reforming education knows what the Elementary and Secondary Education Re-authorization Act of 2011 actually says.
This 860 page document spells out federal and state obligations to provide for the education of our children. It is understood that the federal obligation is to support states and the state obligation is to support local education agencies. The breakdown in this system is lack of accountability.
Local education agencies, school districts, continue to receive funding even though, according to federal guidelines, they shouldn’t. States continue to receive funding to support these failing districts with failing schools even though, according to federal guidelines, they shouldn’t.
School districts continue to require students with limited English speaking skills to take standardized tests even though, according to ESEA re-authorization, they don’t have to. And, no student has to be assessed by a state standardized test but can be given alternative assessments that provide insight into student growth and achievement.
Though the language in the ESEA re-authorization act is not child centered, the intent of the federal document is not seen at the state and local level of education.
The ESEA Re-authorization Act of 2011 must be amended so that its perspective is concentrated on the success of the child and not the failure of a program however, before we commit to fighting for change, it is good to know that we are not very far away from where we should be.
Anyone and everyone, interested in true education reform should put down their current reading material and begin reading the ESEA Re-authorization. Universities that prepare teachers to teach should make reading this document a must. The State education plan should also be a required read.
If you don’t know what is being done how do you know how to change it.
Our children are worth the effort.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!