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Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020, NCLB Act

Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020] is one of the most powerful, insightful, and forward-thinking documents on public education I have read in many years. Its cutting-edge proposal for a more expanded and enlightened version of accountability — one that includes such elemental inputs as the size of classes, availability of preschools, and conditions of school buildings — represents a major change in thinking that the leaders of our government must not ignore. The Five-Year Initiative, with its emphasis on equity, a transformation of the way we finance public schools, and the elevation of the role of teaching as a well-remunerated, highly honored, intellectual, and professional activity, is an utterly compelling, realistic, and essential first step in the right direction.

--Jonathan Kozol, educator and author, Savage Inequalities,Letters to a Young Teacher, and Amazing Grace

A highly conciliatory call for a partnership between educators, states and the federal government to insure that America’s schools are top-notch!

-- David C. Berliner, Regents’ professor of education

Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Arizona State University

The National Education Association has taken a bold step and articulated a brave vision for redefining the federal role in education for the next president of the United States. Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020 challenges the nation by outlining a vision for educating America’s children and assuring that the nation will provide “…liberty and justice for all.” Our next president would do well to heed the words and wisdom reflected in this important document.

 -- William “Buddy” Blakely, principal,William A. Blakey & Associates, PLLC, and chairman of the board, Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO)

NEA’s Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020 is a great start to a new conversation. Rebuilding our education system to meet the challenges of today’s students, their families and their communities requires a “ground-up” reconstruction led at the local level, a top-down strengthening of the system framework and capacity, and an inside-out reinvention that begins in the classrooms

— Douglas D. Christensen, commissioner of education, Nebraska Department of Education

NEA's Call to Action, [NEA’s Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020], is not only timely, but visionary. It provides a framework based on equal educational opportunity for every child in this nation. It is comprehensive and just. It embeds a legacy of hope, reiterates every child's birthright to a quality public education, and historically documents the American tradition of our democratic rights to a public education. We must never forget that our democratic nation hangs on the balance of its educated activist citizenry.

By investing and supporting the teaching profession, appropriating adequate funding, ensuring equal access to services, investing in authentic assessment and accountability, establishing high quality research and development, and supporting innovation and best practices, infinite possibilities exist. The time is now

— Barbara M. Flores, Ph.D. 2007-2008 president, National Association of Bilingual Education Coordinator of Bilingual MA Programs , College of Education, California State University, San Bernardino

For our nation’s classrooms to fulfill their potential as bedrock of democracy and equality, the federal role must shift from testing and punishing to giving schools the help they need to improve. The NEA’s Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020 frames critical changes such as overhauling assessment and accountability. Its thoughtful proposals make a valuable contribution to the public conversation about how to attain high-quality education for all our nation’s children.

-- Monty Neill, deputy director, FairTest, National Center for Fair & Open Testing, Inc.

The NEA has offered a bold and compelling set of ideas for how to move our nation forward in insuring that every child has the opportunity to learn. In reconceptualizing an appropriate role for the federal government in public education, the NEA is also asserting the fact that education has become one of the most important of our inalienable rights and as such, it must be safeguarded, protected and guaranteed in order to be truly meaningful.

-- Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D., executive director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University

NEA’s call for ‘adequacy and equity’ plans from the states would plug a major gap in the current NCLB by ensuring that all schools and all children are provided the basic resources they need to meet NCLB’s demanding outcome goals. This approach nicely balances federal muscle with the experience that has emerged from the ‘laboratory of the states’ in the development of adequacy plans in the dozens of litigations that plaintiffs have won throughout the country.

-- Michael A. Rebell, executive director, The Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University