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Teachers: What changes would you like to see in the new, reauthorized version of ESEA?

Comments: 358

NCLB needs a complete overhaul with some sound thinking this time. The teach to the test method is ruining education. Teachers are clearly working very hard without adequate support. Teachers definitely have to exercise more authority with far more administrative support. Pushing kids ahead because of NCLB pressures is self-defeating and irresponsible.

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paul brooks
isaac federation of teachers
glendale, AZ

Start over. Rename it. All children cannot be above average. Do not punish a school for having fallen a little in one area. Do not expect special education students to measure up to those who are not spec ed-- appreciate the gains they make! Consider who will ever want to teach in an urban area. And the biggest: This entire bill is destroying public education and the people who teach in public education. When is †he realization that it is not the schools that are failing, but society? What about a bill to send people to parenting school?

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Deborah Smith
MFT 59
Minneapolis, MN

Use more complex metrics to determine progress. Give credit for individual progress rather than broad categories. Use NAEP data rather than individual state tests which differ wildly. Acknowledge out-of school factors which affect student achievement. We cannot judge the schools' work without taking into account the other factors that affect student achievement. The Coleman report's findings that student achievement is determined more by family than by school has NEVER been refuted.

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rosalie friend
PSC
Brooklyn, NY

Measure students progress from year to year based on their own growth and performance rather to a lock-step notion of growth. New language learners need assessments in their first language to accurately gage their content knowledge, apart from the language proficiency in English. Offer more alternatives to paper and pencil assessments. Rubrics, portfolios, and theme-based projects are excellent alternatives for students to display understanding of the skills and concepts set in the standards. Multiple methods of determining student growth need to be allowed for equitable assessment for a diverse population.

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Agnes Smith
East Prairie Council
Skokie, IL

I would like to see a make over in our country. We do not, as a country, value education. Our government values corporations and entertainment more than they do education. Take a CEO for a company making $5 million a year and compare that to the salary of a local school superintendent (CEO of that districts school system) making $100 thousand a year. That is a 50 to 1 ratio. Take an average professional athlete's salary of $5 million a year and compare that to an average teacher's salary of $50 thousand a year; the ratio is 100 to 1. We reap what we sow. If we change our value system, maybe we will see results in education.

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Richard Fantin
Hammond Federation local 394
Hammond, IN

Stop this madness! Go back to basics! Stop placing the burden on high school teachers to "magically" fix the problems when, clearly, the problems begin on the elementary level. Go back to teaching phonics, so students understand the code and can read ANYTHING. Teach them basic math including memorizing the times tables so they know them inside and out. Teach them GRAMMAR! The last generation doesn't know the construct of its own English language. Students can't write well if they don't know how to correctly put their thoughts together! A solid foundation contributes to the broader spectrum of education--logic, analysis, and synthesis. PLEASE!

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Barbara Spellman Shuta
Dickson City, PA

Why aren't parents held responsible for their childrens’ grades? In the military, if students miss homework or make failing grades, the school contacts the commanding officer, who calls in the parent. Students with caring, concerned parents always do better than students with negligent, uninvolved parents regardless of the intelligence or economic factors. The government programs need to change to discourage and break the vicious cycle of poverty, abuse and neglect.

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Debra Shamsie
lake Charles, LA

I want to see all remnants of NCLB removed. We need a system, either national or local, that has tools to identify mastery of objectives with remediation strategies for students not reaching mastery that is not judgmental or punitive for the teacher. We have to stop labeling schools and teachers as failures for one-time test results that many times don't reflect the actual learning taking place in the classroom.

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Terry Sheppard
AFT-Texas
Dallas, TX

If a future mother is preparing her body, eating the right foods, exercising, etc., and continues this after conception, I believe the chances for a healthy baby are there. Now, after birth, when learning begins, mothers need to talk, sing, hold etc., that little human being. Make the child WELCOME into the world. Learning has begun; parents need to be taught how to raise a child, not just “make” them.

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Henry Turek
So. Sub. Fed. /Teachers
Palos Park, IL

Student achievement should measure individual progress based on individual ability not on their age or native language or race or socio-economic background. We discriminate against our students by holding them to one standard. We have laws that protect an individuals civil rights and freedoms but we don't protect our students from unreasonable testing. Then we base important decisions about funding and curriculum on those scores and the cycle repeats and the fortunate prosper while the rest fall farther behind. At least the new Administration is trying to get rid of the tag name NCLB!

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Tracy Allen
Richfield Springs Faculty Association
West Winfield, NY

Get rid of the continuous testing. The preparation takes almost half of the kids’ school year and leaves no time for them to learn the way we did when we went to school. How is it possible to raise the bar, when all we do is teach to a test? It is completely senseless. If they would change the creed of "Students are customers," back to "Students are the product" of an education, you would see a big difference. Right now, it’s about them being the customer and the product they are buying is not anywhere near as good as what we used to have. You can blame it on poor teachers all you want. That isn't why students aren't excelling.

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Donna Vernick
pft
Philadelphia, PA

More money for failing schools, NOT less. The biggest priority is smaller class sizes.

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Miriam Oppenheimer
philadlephia, PA

They need to lower the bar to a reachable goal and fund the requirements. But students need help past third grade. Some are making changes and getting the help but then it is dropped and they are left in the cold, especially if the school they were attending didn't make annual yearly progress. But requiring so much and not funding it has made it hard. Give funding so progress made can be kept up. Fund coaches’ jobs so they can continue to help teachers and students stay on track. Have language that would provide interventionists or tutors for students.

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Carol Walden
Peoria PublicSchool#150,Illinois
Peoria , IL

A student's productivity in society as a result of his/her progress through the education system should be what is ultimately measured to determine the success of the educational process. This measurement should include standardized tests, but also should include attendance rates, incremental goals, community involvement and development of good self esteem as indicated by portfolios and activities as well as the traditional paper and pencil tests. I believe teachers are willing to be judged on the achievement of these goals by their students over time.

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Gladys Havel
Austin, TX

Special education students are being left behind every day. It should not matter where services are provided to a student for the student to be helped. Trying to make all students look regular is not helping students. More training for special education teachers is vital for the students as well as the teachers. Less paperwork would make more time for students.

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Donna Stephens
1560
Baker, LA

Consideration for SPECIAL EDUCATION -- students AND teachers! We are ALWAYS the after-thought to any educational reform; and the last time, that left middle and high school special ed. Teachers having to certify in every subject areas, on grade level, in order to be considered "highly qualified" (even if they worked with kids on a functional elementary school level!) Now they want to evaluate/hire/fire/give bonus pay to teachers based on test scores?! Then I guess no one will ever want to work with the special education kids. Totally unfair. We're tired of being the poor step-child!

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Margaret Meall
Cleveland Teachers Union Local 279
Strongsville, OH

I would love to see the Special education (inclusion) part done over.

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Anastasia Francis
UTNO
New ORleans, LA

Less testing of Special Education students. They have field tests, benchmarks twice a year, and then they have the actual state mandated test. I would love to teach my students--not test them to death.

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Teresa Peevey
unknown
Rancho Viejo, TX

Penalize the parents. Have the parents serve detention for their childrens behavior.

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John Jacobson
Education Minnesota
Maple Grove, MN

Whatever is done with No Child Left Behind, Congress needs to fund the bill! That is the biggest problem now. The law was passed but money wasn't provided to achieve the goals it mandated.

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Trudy Miner
USEP
Oldsmar, FL

1)Include stonger consequences for parents who refuse to take responsibility for their child's behavior, attendance, and homework. Teacher's are heavily criticized and now even fired for lack of student progress at school while parents abdicate their responsibilities from home. Parents of students who are excessively absent, tardy, or consistently disrupt classrooms should be charged in court with "child abuse" and forced to attend parenting classes. 2)Change the mandatory attendance laws for getting driver's license or welfare benefits to include "and passing". Now they are forced to attend & they disrupt for revenge and everyone fails.

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Elaine Wright
UEA Arlington, Texas
Arlington, TX

I prefer that the same students are tracked in improvement. You cannot measure if a school has made progress with a student if you are measuring different students each year. The key is to track the same cohort as they advance in grade. Therefore, the 9th graders are pretested, then measured again as 10th graders, then finally tested as 11th graders. If a school has not improved the same cohort's national standings within those two years, then it is fair to say that the school is failing these students. However, to compare a completely different group of students each year is not only scientifically invalid, it is ethically unsound.

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Elizabeth Bahn
California Federation of Teachers, 8004
Royal Oaks, CA

No Child Left Behind is a disaster, forcing teachers everywhere to focus on tests instead of learning. The whole thing is compounded by President Obama's desire, evidently, to make it even stronger and to push for more and more Charter Schools, because they supposedly do a better job than public schools. Fund our public schools as Charters are--it would be a different story. What would I like? The end absolutely to No Child Left Behind. But I am dreaming, of course.

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donna rubens
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

I have several concerns. They simply cannot continue to mandate from their ivory towers without input from educators and parents. These lawmakers simply have no clue as to what they're mandating as they've never been educators. As we all know, high stakes testing is unfair to all. State testing should be used as a diagnostic tool, only. Finally, there should be "mandates" on their mandates. If they intend to actually fund what they're mandating, a panel of teachers should be involved in the implementation of government dollars allotted to districts.

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Mairlyn Mahoney
Volusia Teachers Organization
Edgewater, FL

We know Foreign Language Students (FLS) need 4 to 5 years to learn a foreign language at an academic 4 level. True also for English Language Learners (ELL) needing 3 to 5 years to learn English at a proficient academic 4 or 5 level. However, the former is accepted unequivocally and the latter is constantly negated. Many expect ELLs to acquire grade level academic English in 1 or 2 years. Normal pace of learning a language is not allowed them. Furthermore, it is effective practice to assess yearly progress of FLS with appropriate exams at level 1 to 4 according to their Foreign Language course. Not ELLs given level 5 tests no matter level

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Lucia Villarreal
PVFT Watsonville ca
Aptos, CA

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