Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Senator Feingold Part of Senate Coalition Calling for Improvements to NCLB Testing Mandates

February 15, 2007, Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and nine of his Senate colleagues are calling for substantial overhaul of the testing mandates contained in the 2001-02 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as “No Child Left Behind (NCLB).” In their letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Senators also identify key issues in NCLB they would like the Committee to examine during the ESEA reauthorization process that begins this year. Many teachers, administrators, and parents in Wisconsin and throughout the nation have raised serious concerns about the law and its effect on students and teachers since it was enacted five years ago...
n their letter, the Senators cite concerns they have with NCLB's one-size-fits-all approach to testing and measuring student achievement. Based on feedback from students, parents, teachers, school counselors, and administrators, it has become clear that this accountability structure is not taking into account the specific needs of individual states and school districts. Additionally, national reports have also called into question the effectiveness of NCLB's statutory provisions and the effect of these provisions on students and teachers. The Senators asked that the upcoming Committee hearings on NCLB focus on the following topics: adequate funding and financial burdens facing school districts; sensible accountability models; differences in school districts’ size and composition; effect on teachers, students, and curriculum; and supportive interventions for struggling schools.

"There is growing frustration around the country about NCLB, and it is our responsibility to ensure that those voices are heard in the coming reauthorization debate in the Senate," said Feingold.

For the past three years, Feingold has called on the HELP Committee to hold hearings on NCLB implementation issues and is pleased the Committee began a series of roundtable discussions and hearings last week.

A copy of the letter is available upon request.

Source: Office of Senator Russ Feingold

We can only Hope.

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