NCLB Reform – Our Call to Action

Earlier this week, I posted the following video put out by the Department of Education entitled:  A Teachers Guide to Fixing No Child Left Behind

The video was written by a teachers for teachers and is intended to offer a vision that could  strengthen teaching, narrow achievement gaps, raises standards, and help guide schools in preparing all students for colleges and careers in a global economy. It is the Department of Education’s hope that the video will ignite discussion and offer an opportunity for teachers to share their thoughts on the direction of these new reform efforts.

I recently had a chance to sit down with, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the US Department of Education, Massier Ritsch, to talk about the these proposed changes and what it may mean for teachers.

Today during Edublogger East, a group of 35 of our colleagues had a chance to watch the video together and discuss its implications.

Here were some initial reactions and questions from the group:

  • What does “flexible” mean? How much choice will we have about resources, programs, support?
  • What and how will “quality” PD be defined?
  • How will the “new test” change the culture of testing we want to avoid?
  • Will professional development be defined by the common core standards?
  • How will success be defined and recognized? What is the measure?
  • Is “better assessment” going to solve the problem to add to it?
  • What is the role of library/media and digital literacy play in the common core?
  • If “broader” more well-rounded curriculum” will be encouraged, will more testing follow?

It is important that we share our thoughts about what you see and hear with the individuals making decisions about the reauthorization and subsequently our futures.

After viewing the videos, consider the following questions:

  • What resonated with you?
  • What is missing?
  • What still needs to be addressed?
  • Are we headed in the right direction?

In an effort to organize our ideas and unite our voices, Lisa Nielsen, has created the following wiki for our questions and responses. We will continue this conversation with Mr. Ristch and Secretary Duncan and  invite you to contribute your ideas and suggestions.

There are several ways your voice can be heard:

  1. Share your stories of success on the wiki
  2. Follow the Twitter conversation-  use the hashtag #USEDgov  for general ed reform conversation and #ReformNCLB for conversation specific to this topic.
  3. Post your responses to the video here.
  4. Share your blog post about this topic here.

This is a chance to be a part of the solution and not simply complain about the problems. Let’s not waste the opportunity!

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  • Saul Fleischman

    While teachers use their unions and the threat of striking – and peppering the streets with bored kids-gone-wild – to protect them from any figment of performance evaluation, I hope to live to see an America where there is an NCLB that delivers consistent improvement in education. 
    As a 44-year-old, what strikes me is that at least the NCLB concept is right.  You see, when I was a kid, it was all the kids’ fault or glory: there were “underachievers” and there were “overachievers” and there was little murmur about the 90% of the teachers (as I recall) who are “phoning it in” after the first five years.

  • Angela Maiers

    That is a really interesting perspective. I agree that the initial concept behind NCLB was right and good- high standards, quality teachers for every student, equal access to excellence….

    Unfortunately, we have done way to much “dialing it in” as you say. We have got to get back on what has always mattered – good teachers!

  • Javeline Wijaya
  • Javeline Wijaya
  • Javeline Wijaya
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