Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) may not be a nice way of saying this, but, what we need is federal education law that is readable and reasonable. Education law should not be the place for the education industry to use OUR law for their benefit.
“It”—in this instance— is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The latest version of ESEA, slated to replace No Child Left Behind, repeatedly uses the word “effective.” We need to do more than just use the word; we need to know what is effective.
ESEA Reauthorization, The Community Education Concept & The Proven-Effective Elements for School Improvement
Elements of Effective Schools
- A system of educational supports that is inclusive of family and community—a system that sees both as assets in a partnership to support students,
- A school climate supportive of teaching and learning,
- Responsible and responsive leadership,
- Instructional improvement,
- A broad and challenging curriculum.
The function of federal education law is to ensure all children get a fair shot at having access to quality, free public schools.
Title I – Education of Children of Low Income Families to provide formula-funded financial assistance to local education agencies in support of children from low-income families in order expand and improve community efforts to meet their learning needs.
See Keeping PACE & ESEA Reauthorization (ELEMENT #1)
Accountability: Using an indicator system, the “appropriate objective measurements” will be used to judge the “effectiveness of the programs in meeting the special educational needs of educationally deprived children.” Local and state officials will have established the parameters (what and how often) of those measurements and will make those facts transparent to the community and state, respectively.
National monitoring of achievement gaps through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) should continue unchanged.
The President’s Report Card will report the national indicators of progress annually to Congress and the Nation.
Title II – School Library Resources, Textbooks, and Other Instructional Materials to be provided through grant-funding to offer access to educational materials for all students in the State recognizing the invaluable human and material resources that a library provides for a community. Priority should be given to low-income communities. To improve curriculum and instruction material support is essential. (ELEMENTS #4 & 5)
Title III – Supplementary Educational Centers and Services to provide services not currently offered but deemed vital to educational improvement in underserved areas. These centers and services are to have the “participation of persons broadly representative of the cultural and educational resources of the area” as a way to “utilize the best available talents and resources” to “substantially increase the educational opportunities.”
To create a learning environment, child must come to school ready to learn. (ELEMENT #2 & 1)
Title IV – Educational Research and Training; Cooperative Research Act to support educational research, training, and dissemination of information targeted at improving the quality of teaching, counseling, advising, and parental and community engagement practices—to improve student achievement. (ALL ELEMENTS)
Title V – State Departments of Education “to stimulate and assist in strengthening the leadership resources of State educational agencies” to assist them in identifying “educational problems, issues, and needs in the State.”
See Leadership & ESEA Reauthorization (ELEMENT #3)
If the country demands “accountability” within this law or wishes to put forth a federal law strictly for that purpose, either way, DO IT RIGHT. Use what we know. For starters, see Accountability as A Shared Responsibility.
“We must be sure that the means — the techniques of change — serve the necessary goals of equality and of quality in education.”
Francis (Frank) Keppel
Chief Architect of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act
The Original Elementary and Secondary Education Act was a very readable 35 pages. Ask Congress to #GetESEAright ! Speak Up.