Friday, October 26, 2007

Is NCLB ever going to be reauthorized?!

Yesterday I received a call from an NCTE member in Colorado who asked,"Is NCLB going to be reauthorized soon? Will it ever be reauthorized?" I understand that member's puzzlement. Each day in Washington, a pronouncement about a probable schedule for voting is heard in the Capitol, in the newspaper, or on the air.

For example, in the middle of October Senators Kennedy and Reid issued language for portions of a possible NCLB bill; they continue to hope for action on a full bill by the end of the year. Since earlier in the summer in the House a full bill draft has been circulating, with a range of responses from enthusiastic endorsement by a number of legislators to President Bush's October 15 statement that he will veto any bill that "weakens" NCLB, including any changes in accountability measures like those in the House bill.

NCTE is keeping close tabs on almost daily statements from legislators, associations, and other groups that have definite stands on what needs to be changed in NCLB. Our organization's own latest action has been to write joint letters with four other subject area associations to both the House and the Senate committees responsible for NCLB to advocate for increased support within the bill for professional development for teachers. Encouraging news is that more and more legislators are talking in public forums about their understanding that teachers are the most important asset in our schools and, therefore, deserve support through professional development.

NCTE members have been wonderfully proactive in sending letters to their legislators when prompted by a call from NCTE or on their own initiative. These letters matter. They matter a great deal right now when legislators need data and experiences from classrooms, districts, and states as they sort out all the calls for changes in NCLB. When NCTE suggests or when you have ideas to share, please continue to write or to visit your legislators. They need to hear the voices of those professionals who count most, teachers who act on behalf of promoting their students' learning.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

We got here because we were unaware of the propaganda techniques being used on us.

And guess what, more propaganda is spilling forth!

Yvonne Siu-Runyan