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

Comments: 358

As teachers strive to meet individual needs, and account for the differences in learning styles of each of their students, it is ludicrous to evaluate learning with a "One Test Fits All" approach. Sadly, since "No Child Left Behind" was enacted, teachers are pressured to teach to the test and not to the child. What happened to the "teachable moment"? Where is teacher judgment in the evaluation of a child's learning? Where is the place for the creative child who scores poorly on tests but is a superior learner? True learning will return to the classroom when teachers are allowed to teach children -- not just test material.

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Linda Tremml
UFT
Long Island City, NY

NCLB needs to become “NCLB-except-Special Ed.” Our Special Ed populations learn in different ways then GenEd students, yet they are required to take GenEd grade level tests. What sense does it make to have a student with a learning disorder, who reads at the 5th grade level, take a test that is written at the 11th grade level? We have high school students who are can't increase their reading levels, no matter how hard they try, or what materials we use. We tell our Special Ed population that they learn differently, and we present material in a variety of ways, only to force them to take a GenEd test for graduation, and AYP. Discrimination abounds!

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Kathy Ellis
Albuquerque Teacher Federation
Albuquerque, NM

I would like to see testing requirements for special education students changed. Testing a student with a full scale IQ of 75-80 with a grade level test when they are performing 2-3 grade levels below grade level is cruel. I would like to see more appropriate testing that can actually determine how a student is performing instead of simply reinforcing that the test is one more thing that they are unable to do.

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Jennifer McElroy
Minisink Valley Teachers' Association
Middletown, NY

Do away with it! It is not funded. It creates work for teachers that is not part of their normal job. It shifts the burden of education away from the student and the parent to the public school system. Ask the question: Why are private schools empty now? Answer: Parents need the funds to live. Parents give lip service to their child's education. It is all based on the almighty dollar.

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Herbert Belcher
Hillsborough County Teacher's Association
Seffner, FL

We need to get serious about academic achievement and less involved in the many excuses/explanations of why so many students are not achieving or graduating. The latter is an important offshoot but not our primary concern. Education in the USA must not be held hostage to the needs of the lowest common denominator. Educational reform needs to be addressed at the elementary and secondary level. Post-secondary education is a privilege earned through success in secondary school (or equivalent). We need to separate out our educational goals from our so-called egalitarian societal goals. Both important but academic excellence is our mandate.

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charlotte kleis
TAUP
philadelphia, PA

We can not expect all students to be at the exact same level.We are all different and learn at different paces, styles. We have different IQ's, talent, motivation levels and abilities. We must also understand that learning takes the students desire and parent commitment. It is not all the teachers. Most teachers I know want their students to learn and provide them with great activities when they can in between standardized tests. Trust the teachers more, give the teacher time to do fun activities that excite the children to learn subject matter. Start using the votech schools and stop preparing all students for college. We need our skilled laborers.

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brenda Sorenson
PSEA
clifton heights, PA

Music (and art) should not only be listed as a core academic subjects, but meaningful assessment tools should be developed and implemented to ensure that school programs follow a sequential curriculum, monitor progress and provide accountability to school boards, parents, and the community.

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Jeffrey Solow
TAUP
Elkins Park, PA

We need funding for educating ELLs. More paraprofessionals to work with them, more training for all educators involved in ELLs' education ...guidance counselors, mainstream / content area teachers, reading specialists as well as administrators. Recognition of each student's individual progress from year to year. AYP for students that reflects his / her growth.

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Tracy Cosgriff
Dunbarton, NH

I would like to see Congress (and the President) stay out of this as education is a State function!

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Myron Webster
Lompoc Federation of Teachers
Lompoc, CA

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