Teachers of the Year Call for Changes to NCLB
WASHINGTON -- One day after meeting with President Bush at the White House to celebrate their selections as state Teachers of the Year, more than two dozen of the educators organized a press conference on the so-called No Child Left Behind law to call for significant changes as the law heads for debate in Congress.
Fifty of the 56 state Teachers of the Year issued a joint statement April 27 detailing the flaws in the federal law and endorsed a 10-point platform to attempt to mold the federal government's practices into an effective force in the classroom.
The top three recommendations are full funding of federal mandates, a growth model to assess student progress, and multiple methods of evaluating student achievement.
The full set of recommendations is:
- Fully fund all education and assessment programs that are federally mandated.
- Allow all states to utilize a growth model for measuring individual student achievement over time.
- Use multiple methods of assessment to evaluate student learning accurately and report the results to the public.
- Include language that appropriately addresses the unique needs of students with exceptionalities (disabilities as well as gifts and talents) while continuing to set high standards for all students.
- Provide assessment information to teachers in a timely manner and professional development in effectively utilizing such information, so that it can inform instruction that will improve teaching and learning.
- Evaluate current sanctions for failing Adequate Yearly Progress and replace then with proven methods of enhancing achievement.
- Develop and fund programs that promote meaningful parent and family engagement.
- Modify assessments and set realistic goals for English Language Learners.
- Ensure every student is taught by a Highly Effective Teacher who receives ongoing professional development.
- Include programs for school leadership development that addresses the need for administrators to become instructional leaders who conduct regular classroom observations and provide productive feedback to teachers.