Statement by Dan Domenech on the Blueprint for a New Federal Education Law

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aasa_imageDan Domenech, AASA executive director, today issued the following press statement on A Blueprint for Reform, the administration's proposal for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Read the Blueprint and share your comments with AASA on this blog!:

“We are pleased that the Obama Administration has released a blueprint for a new ESEA that is a significant improvement on No Child Left Behind. We applaud President Obama for setting a clear and obtainable goal that the United States will lead the world in college completion by 2020.

“We also applaud the administration for recognizing the need to improve current accountability systems and give districts a transition period to develop better assessments. However, schools in the interim should not be required to use assessments that have already been labeled by the administration as faulty. States and districts should be allowed to use their own benchmarking assessments until new systems are in place, including tests that measure growth and progress over time.

“Rewarding schools that achieve the goals set forth in the plan is a step in the right direction, as is moving away from the punitive, all-or-nothing accountability of No Child Left Behind.

"Education is a civil right, as Secretary Duncan has stated. However, a child’s civil rights are not subject to competition. We object to the decision to shift a significantly larger proportion of dollars into competitive grant programs. Rather than maintaining or cutting formula funding under ESEA, we urge the administration and Congress to grow formula grants to provide a more reliable stream of funding to local school districts.

“The blueprint would require schools to collect, interpret and use a tremendous amount of data. Additional funding must be provided to schools for this activity, or the data collection amounts to an unfunded mandate for school districts.

“We also recommend that the fifth turnaround option, to implement a research based intervention model, reserved in the blueprint for Reward districts, be made available to the lowest-performing districts as well.

“The blueprint proposes the option of removing the superintendent from Challenge districts. In fact, this is not needed as superintendents are already held accountable by and can be removed by their boards.

“The administration’s proposal is headed in a good direction, but specifics and clarification are needed on a number of issues. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration and Congress to iron out the details and to reauthorize ESEA this year.”

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Please share your comments about the A Blueprint for Reform below.


Work hard to maintain formula money under ESEA. We can work with dollars to maintain our programs but we can find dollars to replace them
Posted by: Mikel A Stewart at 3/15/2010 5:47 PM

1. We have created a culture of entitlement and until we return to education is a privilege afforded to all children by the taxpayers rather than government, no reform will work. It's a behavior and habit problem rather than systemic problem. Education is a Privilege rather than a civil right.

2. The center of the community needs to be the home of the child rather than the school. The school is a place where families can gather to celebrate progress, it is not our center point. This needs to change. Schools should first and foremost recognize the rights of parents as the first teacher and last teacher of their children.
3. STEM needs to begin in Kindergarten.
4. What we measure we can evaluate.
5. What we can dream we can see. Supporting and exanding the Dream Act for children would be a nice addition to the blueprint.
6. We need to restructure teacher and principal training programs. A teacher should be given a class of children to teacher after they have completed 3 years of internship under the direction of an highly effective teacher. The internship should be a paid internship. This will require a revamaping of university and how we think of education. Invest First for a Return on Investment.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and the efforts underway to revive effectiveness in education.
Posted by: Sharyl Allen( Visit ) at 3/16/2010 10:46 AM

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