On Tuesday, July 7, the Senate will begin debate on S 1177, their version of a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The original “Statement of purpose” reads:
“Sec. 6301. Statement of purpose
The purpose of this subchapter is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state 1 academic assessments.
The amended “Statement of purpose” reads:
“SEC. 1001. Statement of purpose.
“The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equitable, and significant opportunity to receive a high-quality education that prepares them for postsecondary education or the workforce, without the need for postsecondary remediation, and to close educational achievement gaps.”
While the “Statement of purpose has been amended, the means by which the purpose is accomplished have not.
(3) closing the achievement gap between high- and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority students . . .
(4) holding schools, local educational agencies, and States accountable for improving the academic achievement of all students, and identifying and turning around low-performing schools that have failed to provide a high-quality education to their students . . .
(6) improving and strengthening accountability, teaching, and learning by using State assessment systems . . .
(7) providing greater decision making authority and flexibility to schools and teachers in exchange for greater responsibility for student performance;
(8) providing children an enriched and accelerated educational program . . .
(9) promoting school wide reform and ensuring the access of children to effective, scientifically based instructional strategies and challenging academic content;
Regardless of the change in the statement of purpose, the purpose of our current system of education has not changed, to segregate and discriminate.
When we provide all children with an excellent education, it will not be necessary to define those children by arbitrary standards.
Preparing our children for college or work is not the intent of education. Properly educating our children means preparing them for life as knowledgeable, respectful, actively engaged, proud and productive citizens of the world.
We must change the language, the purpose, and the outcome of education.
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