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

Comments: 358

Delete it. It has no relevance, has not been proven statistically and was drawn up by the Bush administration under false pretenses.

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celentha finfer
uft
New YORK, NY

More money for high needs areas and more funds for related special education services.

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Daniel Barnett
UFT
Bronx, NY

I think it is imperative to include Art, Music & Physical Education when re-writing the Law. Research shows that these areas are crucial to a well-balanced, integrated education.In NCLB Art is considered a core subject, yet Art, Music and P.E. classes are expected to teach classes far above the class size numbers that are followed in the homerooms.

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mary hensel
CCEA
naples, FL

I am a member of NEA Retired. The most critical thing for NEA and AFT to do is to go on the offensive. Teachers need to have a strong plan of their own. I know that's what you are trying to do so here are some ideas: Insist on teacher involvement; Come up with your own plan to improve the teaching force. I favor a career ladder similar to what they have at the college level; Encourage teachers to start their own charter schools as they are doing in L.A.; Emphasize the research on how children learn. Insist on appropriate instruction for children; Find a way to provide safe schools for children trapped in high-crime areas.

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Linda Mele Johnson
Long Beach, CA

In high school, students should be given end-of-course exams instead of an exam for exiting high school. These exams should be uniform throughout the U.S. so that students will basically be following the same curriculum. By doing this teachers can focus on teaching the curriculum, not spending half of the year reviewing what students learned in other courses. So much time is lost in reviewing previous classes that teachers are left with very little time to actually teach their subject matter. Colleges should look at these courses and the grades on these to decide if a student should be placed in advanced classes upon entering college.

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Tommie Ashburn
Not one-small district
Boerne, TX

Wouldn't it be awesome if Congress would actually follow through on FUNDING everything it has promised since NCLB was originally enacted...Over and over, year after year, the monies promised to our school districts are either re-allocated or cut for some other "emergency" need. It's time our so-called "representatives," in both houses of Congress, cease attaching "pork" and "stipulations" to the funding process, and put the money where their mouths are - especially those who tirelessly make these promises as candidates when running for office each election. Stop demanding we do more with less, and actually make implementation $$$$$ feasible.

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marv hupp
WHFT Local #1917
Mazomanie, WI

I'd like to see the push for charter schools entirely scrapped; instead we need magnet schools which implement research-based, proven programs: student-centered, project-based, technology and arts enhanced instruction. Without abandoning standardized tests entirely, emphasis should be placed on formative evaluations, which provide real information to both the student and the teacher about individual progress. Normative assessments are useful only for students at the high end of the scale. For those left out, we need student-centered evaluation.

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Fred Mindlin
Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (PVFT)
Watsonville, CA

I strongly believe that NCLB should be revisited and revised. Two of the problems that seem to be plaguing underperforming schools are transient populations and language barriers. If NCLB is truly committed to treating each student as an individual, data of those students who do not achieve proficiency would be collected and analyzed to see if the school they currently attend should really be held responsible for their failure. I have been in a school where a student took state tests on his first day in the U.S. Obviously that school has nothing to do with his performance. I also wonder if scores would go up if the test were bilingual.

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Julie Baker
Cranston Teacher's Alliance
Cranston, RI

Ditch high-stakes testing that only leads to defunding anything that's not math and reading. We need funding for arts programs that allow students to have a staff music specialist, a staff art specialist, etc. More funding for arts.

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Zeno Wood
PSC-CUNY
Brooklyn, NY

Get rid of it entirely!

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Mike Travis
Harlingen, TX

I believe testing every year should be eliminated. It is a waste of milions of dollars for every state. Good teachers are more important than hiring companies to test our kids. For example, test in 4th grade, 7th grade, and 10th grade. This will alow the system to catch students prior to being culminated to the next level for help. Testing every year is waste of REAL learning time!

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Traci Liley
AFT 1521A
Torrance, CA

Fund it properly and eliminate vouchers for private or charter schools which are clearly not the panacea everyone claims them to be.

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Harold Buttitta
3Village Teacher
Boynton Beach, FL

Back off on special ed kids. They are learning and making gains as individuals even though it may not show up on paper. Stop punishing schools that need help by taking away staff and funding. These schools need support, not punitive action. Schools with a struggling population need MORE support and funding. The way it is now, "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

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Kris Althoff
PIne City Ed. Assc.
Pine City, MN

There needs to be a better focus on providing financial assistance (particularly for historically disadvantaged school districts), and less on punishing these schools. The feds really need to focus in on the quality and availability of "inputs" and stop over-focusing on "outputs." Until they develop a system of evaluating the quality of inputs, the testing mania is merely that: MANIA.

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Catherine Lugg
Rutgers AAUP/AFT
Belle Mead, NJ

Students needing specialized services should to not be included in the mainstream classroom.

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Ann Connally
DAEOE
Detroit, MI

Get rid of it! And if that can't be done, make the districts accountable. As a hard-working special education teacher, I'm sick to death of the pressure put on us to make unrealistic progress. It is the number one reason driving me as fast I can toward retirement. We haven't had a “30-and-out” window in more than years. Any chance of that happening? That's my final wish...sad.

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Maryann Zambrano
PFT
Philadelphia, PA

Require parental involvement and support: Parents must provide adequate home environment for study (quiet, clean and sufficient space dedicated to homework and a specific, regular time every day); instill respect for authority; ensure chidren’s attendance and performance at school; provide children with adequate food and sleep and healthcare; limit access to TV/video games/etc.; and supervise children at all times to avoid street gangs/drugs/violence. Develop programs in schools to teach parents what their responsibilities are and how to meet them. Develop home visitation program to assess compliance. Develop appropriate incentive/rewards.

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Roberta Turner
PSC-CUNY
New York, NY

The law needs a great way of providing supplemental services to schools that are not meeting educational expectations. However, make ALL children within that school eligible for services, not just those who meet some arbitrary economic criteria.

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Eric Whitney
UFT - Local 2
Cortlandt Manor, NY

I would scrap No Child Left Behind and start again. It has not and it will never be effective. Our children need smaller classes, better programs, and more social workers and nurses available. With our society the way it is, children need to be able to talk about their lives, and people need to be in place to mentor and counsel them. The chaos that our children face from day to day must be addressed. They need to feel safe and secure while learning takes place. When a child has to wonder if he/she will get home safely at the end of the day, learning takes a back seat.

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JoEllen Backstrom
chicago, IL

It needs to be stated, somewhere, that parents have an important role in their child's education and that they should be held accountable. There also should be consideration that the home situation, lack of funding and large class sizes have a great effect on student achievement.

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Carol Suarez
DFT
Dearborn, MI

I personally would like them to burn No Child Left Behind and start over with something that is actually doable. Also, we need something that does not cost school districts more than it provides funds for. I would also like something that is reasonable: Here in our district, the baseline data used to grade us was accumulated from our state exam. We, then, as a staff began working on improving our students’ performance on that test and were progressing in a positive direction. Three years ago, our state switched to the MME which is a new test which includes making all juniors in the state take the ACT.

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Mark Nezich
Hamtramck
Sterling Heights, MI

I would still require teachers to be certified in the subject they teach. I would change the testing of schools that rank in the upper percentiles of passing students to only test every four years. The cost of testing is expensive and punitive in many school systems. In addition if a state already has a statewide test in a subject and a large percentage of students pass that should be enough. Multiple tests are a waste of money and teaching time.

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Lynne Klein
Tamalpais
Mill Valley, CA

Please focus more on actual learning and stop the focus of teaching to the test. You are making the schools crazy and the pressure on the students is unbelievable! Teachers are so focused on the test results that they forget to teach so the kids actually learn something they can use in life. Please rethink the meaning of education--it is to educate not to test to death!

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Mae Concannon
UMDNJ
Rutherford, NJ

I would do away with the highly qualified component. It is just jumping through hoops that does nothing to show someone is truly highly qualified.

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Andrew Spar
AFT 1605
Ormond Beach, FL

I think that one of the changes they should make is how they look at accountability. The state testing system is so messed up that the teachers are teaching to the test and the kids aren't really learning anything. Also some teachers will have a lot of kids that don't meet the standard which makes the teacher look bad, but it's not the teachers' fault that they were stuck with a class of all low kids. The teachers that have all the GT kids of course are going to have high scores, but the rest just have to deal with what kids they are given. I have seen several excellent teachers miss out becuase of the messed up system that we have now.

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Angela Garcia
Pasadena, TX

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