News headline: Every Student Succeeds Act will replace the 2001 No Abandoned Child Act and become official after Obama’s signing on December 10. At the time, he called it a “Christmas miracle” and it would affect everyone. one in 50 million public school students and 3.4 million parent teachers and taxpayers.
It’s been a long time …
The first major government reform began under the name of the Primary and Secondary Education Act 1965. It consisted of just 32 pages and was aimed at providing “equal resources for the poorest students.” Title I, still in operation, provides grants to states to directly pay local school districts and even now is “undoubtedly the largest source of federal funding for local schools.”
This was followed by the signing of President George W. Bush’s “No Child Lag behind” Act of 2001, which certainly changed the rules of the game. As the Washington Post’s Lindsey Layton explains, “THE NCLB has established a national system that evaluates schools based on math and reading test scores and requires schools to achieve higher scores each year (in math and reading), otherwise they face tougher penalties.”
A qualified teacher in each class was one of the goals, but accountability is important through standardized test results. Make sufficient annual progress (AYP), or your school has faced consequences in the form of imposed “steps to improve” and “corrective action.” For example, 5th grade students this year should have had better time than last year, or else. It is not for nothing that we began to hear the phrase “teach the court.”
Most unrealistic, at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, all pupils had to check their qualifications or higher as if it could be done remotely.
Obama and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan arrived in 2009. Together, they doubled the law, contributed to the growth of the number of charter schools, uniform state standards, online assessments. Related and teacher evaluations (value-added measures) based on the results of standardized student tests. Meanwhile, the NCLB was re-authorized in 2011.
They also eventually offered staff waivers in anticipation of the 2013-2014 deadline for 100% mastering math and reading students and other NCLB requirements. At the time, they said: “We are going to convince states, schools and teachers to find innovative ways to give our children the skills they need to fight for jobs in the future.
As Sarah Myers of Politifacts explains, this meant “requiring states to set standards for college and career training; Identify schools with the best and worst performance; Develop a plan that increases productivity at all levels of performance, including certain subgroups; to make meaningful assessments of teachers and schools and to reduce duplication of paperwork and bureaucracy. “
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have already applied, and some have also requested an extension or are still seeking.
The result: low morale of teachers, parents denying their children to pass standardized tests, the number of charter schools reaching a record number, reduced enrollment in teacher training programs, and now a shortage of classroom teachers.
Take the NCLB replacement: the “Every Student Succeeds” Act, or ESSA, a two-way project led by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Patty Murphy, a Democrat from Washington. So when we commit ourselves not to leave a single child, we will now make sure that all of them succeed.
In addition to changing the name, ESSA allows states to develop their own academic assessment systems, parent participation levels, and even the courses they offer. It also significantly reduces the power of the U.S. Secretary of Education, who has relentlessly used the current Arne Duncan to strengthen state control over our schools. (He’s about to come out.)
Among other principles:
Annual math and reading test for children in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school.
Test results should be published based on race, income, ethnicity, disability and English-language student status (ELL).
States can choose how to operate in schools with the worst scores (bottom 5%).
States can decide how to evaluate teachers rather than those additional measures based solely on the test scores of students who are even teachers without reading and math skills.
Of course, there is much more; after all, the document is 1,016 pages long. But for now, Senators Alexander and Murray are planning “at least three major” hearings overseeing the implementation of ESSA, as all of this will come together and work. This includes school board members, teachers and public school principals.
But in the end only time will tell whether ESSA is an improvement, a little more similar or even a step backwards. Complaints and fears are already there, so watch out for them; can also keep your fingers crossed.
Carol is an educational specialist who has worked with high school students and their parents for more than 25 years in the Metakton School District in Pennsylvania and now directs faculty at Gwynedd Mercy University and Ursinus College. In addition to the booklet, 149 tips on parenting in school: middle and senior levels and numerous articles in publications such as Teaching Pre-K-8 and Curious Parents, she is the author of three guides to successful learning: Getting School – Wise: A Student Guidebook, Other -Wise and School-Wise: a guide for parents and ESL classes for each month of the school year.