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

Comments: 358

make the parents accountable for "their" child's learning just like the teachers being held to a high standard, what happened to the old saying "it takes a whole village to raise a child", that includes, home first(parents), school, then community. tie welfare check to parents accountability of their responsibility to their child's attendance, homelearning activity getting done, parental involvement at school, and personal hygiene/care.

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orlisa johnson
caddo fed. of teachers
shreveport, LA

It is impossible for a standardized test to tell anything about any individual teacher's abilities, especially when we consider the ways that learners are segregated in today's schools. In my school, all AP/IB students are segregated in their own small enrollment classrooms, courses, and teachers. Special ed, LEP, ESL and others have special tutoring, extra classes, more materials. The "regular" students get the newest teachers, largest class sizes, least resources, yet are expected to perform with the others. Amazing piece of self-deception that the public schools are homogeneous. This type test is doomed from the start.

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Michael Perrin
TFT
Odessa, TX

As a parent, I find it crazy that the feds want to make the teachers the scapegoat for poor test scores. Some teachers work in very low income non-English speaking communities and get no parent support from home. If parents would spend 15 to 20 minutes a day just looking over their child's homework, or talking about their school day, it would make an improvement to the education system. This is just a start. When is the goverment going to wake up and make the parents accountable for their own child's education?

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Dennis O'Neil
Yucaipa, CA

The first thing that needs to happen in any rewrite is to eliminate the concept of tenure. Teachers need to be held to the same standards of performance as in corporate America. There should be incentives and rewards for exceptional performance and the ability to discipline and eliminate the "clock punchers" that are in every system in the country. Not all teachers are guilty of this and the majority are good and concientious educators but there needs to be accountability for poor performance. Only then can we start to better the quality of our childrens education.

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Joseph McDonald
Franklin, NJ

I would eliminate ALL standardized testing requirements for every student at every grade from grades 3 through 8. I would eliminate the entire concept of AYP that punishes schools with high numbers of children of poverty, and sets an impossible goal to reach (all students at or above grade level by 2014).

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Sean Black
Greeley, CO

First of all, no standardized testing for young children. And individualized, high quality curriculum that embraces diversity, English Language Learners, developmentally appropriate practice, pro-social activity and parent involvement and education. And contractors selected for proven track records based on brain research and short/long term research that can produce quantitative and qualitative outcomes including teachers' input.

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Dr. Lee Turner-Muecke
Sacramento, CA

We need help...support for after-school help for kids, especially middle school. We need less punitive attention and more acknowledgements. We need to look at what is going on there that is affecting kids' learning and motivation. We need to recognize honest efforts and have teachers be the basis of any rules and laws that we have to carry out. We have all the work and responsibility, but none of the decision making...we do not need more mandates imposed on us. Until teacher competence is acknowledged and accepted, things will not change. Students i have taught have ended up in prison...others are pilots and pharmacists. We are a tiny piece.

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Lois Nokleby
farmington education association
Hampton, MN

The elimination of AYP, ensuring that harmful elements of Race to the Bottom (merit pay, linking test scores to evaluations) are not in this bill. We were betrayed by that program, perhaps destroyed, at least in Florida through Senate Bill 6, let it not happen here. If so, lets primary these folks out of office, with George Miller being the first to go!

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Trevor Colestock
United Teachers of Dade
Miami, FL

Tying teacher performance to tests that are a measure of basic reading skills rather than their ability to provide rich curriculum is unacceptable. Using tests whose results have been shown to be meaningless when compared to a national standard (NAEP) is laughable. Having all students reach proficiency by 2014 is even more so. Having a school improvement law that is punitive rather than supportive is immoral and truly unsuccessful. Making teachers the scapegoat is akin to blaming soldiers for the general's decisions. What about the needs of the students, the role of the parent, etc. Give me a break. Put education back in the schools.

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Ellen Driesen
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

Testing should not discriminate against the bright kids as well; how about NOT including the special ed. population in testing scores overall for a school. Regardless of effort and intent, you are not going to change an I.Q. of 40 or lower to that of an IQ of 100 or above; and overall scores of a school should not be penalized for that...schools with a large spec.ed population suffer in test scores the most. Education is NOT one size fits all.Also, teaching to the test is a huge problem. One history teacher told me he had to leave out the entire American Revolution period in order to 'teach to the test"...that is ridiculous

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Kathleen Snoderly
AFT
Morgantown, WV

Hold parents more responsible! If child does poorly, make it a law for parents to pay stipend to have child tutored before or after school. If child does not do homework, make parents pay stipend for student to do with specially hired teachers for this purpose at students' recess time or before or after school. If student does all homework for a marking period, give parents a free dinner.

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Theresa Cusachs
JFT
Metairie, LA

MOTIVATION! The last two years that I taught elementary students before I retired (2006) I taught "the test." In Philadelphia, we literally prepared for the test all year. I actually saw the spark in their eyes diminish as the days dragged on as the pressure of the test "left both the students and the staff behind!" Teachers were actually given words and math facts daily to "drum" into the students' heads. Prior to "No Child Left Behind", I taught thematically and incorporated the arts. My students loved my class. We have to inspire and teach the love of learning. How do we test that?

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Linda Hayes
Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

I believe that a progress monitoring instrument would be much more effective than a two day test during the height of allergy and flu season. It is important that all components come together to show student achievement. This should not be left to just the teacher's responsibility, but a cooperative effort of parents, students, teachers and administrators. Unfortunately, the student and many times the parent components are missing. Students need to be accountable for cooperating with their education, as well as parents should be an integral part to ensure their child's success. A test given three times a year can track student success.

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Diana Johnson
LCEA
Eustis, FL

NCLB's standards ignore the mathematical principle of the bell curve. While we certainly can seek to attain 100% achievement it is not always possible. The concept of highly qualified ignored some areas, like librarians which made some districts feel no qualifications were necessary thus marginalizing the positions. Yet many states allow non-teachers to teach without certification. It is frustrating. As a teacher who works with high school students it is extremely frustrating to see students drop out or move to alternative programs because they refuse to do any of the work associated with the courses they take.

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Judy Schram
Lamphere 1614
Huntington Woods, MI

I would like the new law to not use test scores to identify "failing schools". Tests could be a tool (or not) but should not be THE determining factor. I would like students and schools to be measured on the gains they make. In fact, measuring student gains is the most important, missing element in the current law. Our high school receives a lot of 9th graders with 4th grade skill levels. Four years later students' skills may have improved 6 or more years but if they don't score proficient or advanced on the state test, they get no credit for their remarkable gain! Teachers are working miracles! Support us!

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Vciki Baker
PFT
Philadelphia, PA

If you truly want "no child left behind" then we need to move forward and instead of taking away programs and classroom settings we need to add more...bring back the resource room in every school for our SPED kids and in all classrooms it should be mandatory to have a regular ed teacher and a special ed teacher and classroom ratios student/teacher should never exceed 20 in any classroom k-12.

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karen long
Alliance AFT
mesquite, TX

I would like to see less emphasis on standardized testing. I feel that our money is better spent hiring teachers to keep class sizes small. Thank you!

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Rhonda Syrcle
UTTA
Pittsfield, IL

Until there is a nationally administered test for all students, there cannot be an accurate comparison of student progress across the states. Until this is developed and implemented, NCLB is a farce. Also, the expectation that a student with an IQ of 65 can meet the academic standards set for an average intelligent student is also ridiculous. Just as we would not expect all people to be capable of managing a production line; not all students can make the expected standards. Allow for that in redesigning how to properly assess student progress.

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elizabeth mahuron
Fayette County Assoc, Indiana
cambridge city, IN

I would LOVE for them to understand that a high stakes test DOES NOT really show you what a child is capable of or what he/she has truly learned. I would also like for them to realize that until PARENTS and STUDENTS have some sort of ACCOUNTABILITY, that not much is going to TRULY change!!!

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Patricia Ezell
Richland Federation of Teachers
Oak Grove, LA

I would like to see students graduate being able to think creatively. They need to have advanced problem-solving skills which will allow them to be successful in our ever-changing world. The current tests stress memorization of rote facts.

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Brent Maves
Local 2209
Crystal, MN

The tone of the law and the Rhetoric should change. Presently there seems to be a punitive focus. Consequences are necessary of course however by setting seemingly arbitrary deadlines and threatening livelihoods destroys motivation and is therefore counterproductive. Having taught in both a inner city comprehensive high school and a specialized high school that selects its students I see the same problem that I see with performance based pay systems. Why would I teach in a comprehensive inner city high school where I don't control the student entering the classroom when my pay is directly tied to things I can not control?

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manuel Mendoza
Manuel Mendoza
Cleveland, OH

Measure growth. Some students come into the school with a large deficit, as measured on a pretest. At the end of the year, measure the growth (progress).

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Kathleen Greenawalt
WSTU Local 571
Burr Ridge, IL

Without complete upfront and long term financial commitment, no ESEA mandates!

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Pete Chaviano
FEA
Tallahassee, FL

I know that in the beginning this act was a vocational act. Congress found a way to transfer this act to serve all of education. We have suffered with this turn of events. Career education has suffered. Theory of education can not relate to reality. All stakeholders can not share in the growth of youth. Why should teachers suffer for the inaction of many environments? Why should teachers be judged for the mis-education of the general population? Provide money to solve these problems.

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Alvin Carroll
DFT
Farmington Hills, MI

I am an Early Childhood educator and caregiver. I direct an early child daycare. Worked for Kalamazoo County Head Start for 22 years, Washington Writer Academy for 2 and other educational facilities. I have worked with kindergarten to sixth grade. I have encountered children in the last few years who do not know how to read or can't read well. I feel less children in the classrooms and more teachers or instructors in classrooms will help children to apply themselves and learn better and more; so they are not passed on to a grade they are not ready for. Our children deserve better for their and our future.

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Viola Robinson
Kalamazoo, , MI

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