Skip to Content

Letter to the Senate on Opportunity Dashboard Amendment

July 13, 2015

Dear Senator: 

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association and the students they serve, and as a follow-up to our letter on the underlying bill, the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (S. 1177), we wish to emphasize the importance of an upcoming vote on a bipartisan amendment by Senators Kirk (R-IL), Reed (D-RI), Baldwin (D-WI) and Brown (D-OH) known as the “Opportunity Dashboard of Core Resources.” We urge you to VOTE YES on Amendment 2161. Votes associated with this amendment will be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress. 

Our members strongly believe that this “dashboard” of core indicators is necessary to help fulfill the original goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and will help states and districts identify and begin to close opportunity and resource gaps so that all students have access to a well-rounded education no matter their zip code. 

To help ensure that students are college- and career-ready, the amendment would build on the good progress already in S. 1177 to include indicators of school quality and student success, as well as state-determined indicators of students’ access to resources and supports like advanced coursework, fully qualified teachers, specialized instructional personnel, libraries, modern instructional materials and facilities, health and wellness programs, high-quality early education programs, or arts and athletic programs. 

The amendment recognizes that no two states are the same and allows states to choose from among different indicators. It also relates to data already being collected, thereby not placing a new reporting burden on states or districts. Importantly, this amendment will give local education leaders, parents, and decision makers more complete and accurate information about the whole education system – not just test scores – and help them to make better decisions and set priorities to improve education for every student. In other words: this amendment is flexible, local, tailored, and provides better data for local decision makers to do what they need to do. 

We urge you to VOTE YES on the Kirk/Reed/Baldwin/Brown amendment to further improve S. 1177 with an “Opportunity Dashboard of Core Resources.” 


Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations