National Education Groups Continue to Push Congress to Get ESEA Done, Begin Weeklong Ad Campaign

Janet Bass|

James Minichello

WASHINGTON—Nov. 2, 2015—It’s time for Congress to finish the job of revising No Child Left Behind and not let another school year go by under the old law, 10 education organizations say in a digital advertising campaign to begin today. 

Collectively, the national organizations represent millions of educators, principals, school boards, superintendents, chief state school officers, parents and PTAs, and school business officials.

The House and Senate passed versions of a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but differences must still be worked out by a conference committee, whose members have not been chosen yet.

The weeklong digital ad campaign will begin today and include ads on Facebook, Twitter and Politico as well as web display ads, targeting congressional members and staff and Washington influencers.

Copy from the ad:

“Please pass a final bill that focuses on opportunity for all students, no matter their ZIP code. Great progress has already been made on this legislation. We can’t let it slip away. Our students cannot wait any longer for a revised law.”

Quotes from coalition leaders:

Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers: “The time is now to fix the federal education law to end the testing fixation and maintain a federal commitment to opportunity for all, particularly high-needs, low-income students. Congress has shown it can do a budget. Now is the time to do what the public wants, the president has acknowledged and parents and educators have known for a long time—that we must meet the needs of students by fixing the education law.”

Lily Eskelsen García, president, National Education Association: “If Congress is serious about every child’s bright future, let’s get serious about putting kids first. Now is the time to finish the job and deliver a bipartisan education bill to the president’s desk right away. Students can’t afford to live another year under the failed No Child Left Behind law.”

Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association: “ESEA reauthorization represents an opportunity to breathe new life into our school districts and the students they serve. We look forward to Congress moving ahead with the critical work of reauthorizing ESEA and providing all of the nation’s schools with workable federal education policy that supports state and local innovations. Our students want and deserve more. Let’s put kids first.”

John Musso, executive director, Association of School Business Officials International: “We have never been so close to fixing our nation’s broken education law as we are right now. If we want our students to develop into the successful, productive citizens we encourage them to be, then we must have an education law that works—one that is in tune with the demands of today’s increasingly technological and globalized society. Congress cannot afford to waste this opportunity to reauthorize ESEA/NCLB.”

Gail Connelly, executive director, National Association of Elementary School Principals: “It is no longer acceptable for educators and students to wait for congressional leaders to fulfill their responsibility to America’s schools. The time to act is now—ESEA reauthorization must be a priority. Principals, together with state and district leaders, teachers and parents, implore Congress to finish the good work that has been started on a renewal of ESEA and finish the job.”

JoAnn D. Bartoletti, executive director, National Association of Secondary School Principals: “For too long, principals have had to navigate a patchwork of mandates designed around an outdated education law. That requirement distracts them from their primary task of leading a learning organization. Congress is in a position to improve that situation for students and educators by passing a new ESEA bill that renews federal engagement in education in a much more constructive manner.”

Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director, National School Boards Association: “Our nation’s 90,000 school board members stand together with educators, principals, superintendents, chief state school officers, parents and school business officials to call upon lawmakers to end years of uncertainty and send a final education bill that restores local governance and community ownership to the president’s desk by the end of this year. Our nation’s schoolchildren deserve a world-class public education, and we will continue to work with Congress to get ESEA done and to get it right.”

Kristen Amundson, executive director, National Association of State Boards of Education: “The current ESEA is 14 years old. How many of us still work on a computer that age? How many use a 14-year-old cell phone? The bill was passed with the best of intentions, but it is clear that changes are long overdue.”

Laura Bay, president, National PTA: “Families have waited for more than eight years for the reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB. It is essential that Congress finish its work and provide critical resources to states and schools to strengthen family engagement and improve education to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.”

Chris Minnich, executive director, Council of Chief State School Officers: “Congress must reauthorize ESEA this year to create a long-term, stable federal policy that gives states additional flexibility and encourages states and schools to innovate, while at the same time holding us accountable for results.”