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Letter to Representative Mark Kirk expressing NEA's support for the Education Assessment Technical Corrections Act

July 17, 2007

Dear Representative Kirk:


On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association, we would like to express our support for the Education Assessment Technical Corrections Act. We thank you for your leadership in introducing this important legislation, which we believe will help improve provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) that have caused significant problems and unintended consequences at the state and local level.

As you know, while we support the NCLB's laudable goals -- closing achievement gaps, raising overall student achievement, and ensuring all students have a qualified teacher -- we believe the law is fundamentally flawed and in need of both serious corrections and additions to help fulfill its promise. We are pleased, therefore, that your bill would make needed changes to NCLB that will help ensure great public schools for every child.

Specifically, we support your proposals to:

  • Extend until the end of the 2008-09 school year the deadline for 100 percent of teachers to meet NCLB's "highly qualified" requirements in hard-to-staff areas;

  • Provide common-sense flexibility by allowing use of growth models to measure student achievement over more than one year. We are particularly pleased that you have called for use of growth models -- a critical change essential to a more effective accountability system; and

  • Align NCLB assessments with Individualized Education Plans for students with disabilities.

We are pleased that your bill has the support of Members on both sides of the aisle. We look forward to working with you to garner additional support as Congress begins the process of reauthorizing NCLB. If you need any assistance, please contact Kim Anderson, NEA lobbyist, (kanderson@nea.org, 202-822-7341) or Donna Harris-Aikens, ESEA Policy Advisor, (dharris-aikens@nea.org, 202-822-7409).

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy