Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324 or Frank Wells at 562-942-7979
BURLINGAME – California’s educators are applauding Congress for postponing until next year the reauthorization of President Bush’s flawed No Child Left Behind Act. CTA members spent recent months in a statewide campaign to warn that fast-tracking a draft NCLB proposal would hurt students, teachers and schools.
“The voices of California’s teachers are finally being heard in Congress,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association. “We welcome the chance to work with Congress in the coming months to erase, rewrite and reauthorize this law. The law is supposed to be helping our public schools of greatest need, but instead its one-size-fits-all approach to learning is hurting our students. It forces teachers to teach to the test rather than provide students with a well-rounded education.”
California's teachers remain vigilant in their effort to secure a reauthorization of No Child Left Behind that improves teaching and learning and is adequately funded. This week, U.S. Rep. George Miller, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, criticized the president's threatened veto of a bill that would provide adequate funding for the chronically underfunded 2001 law. Current funding is $56 billion less than what NCLB requires. The veto threat makes it unlikely that the House will take up reauthorization this year. The U.S. Senate has already indicated it will not.
The past two months CTA members made more than 15,000 phone calls to members of Congress, wrote post cards, e-mailed legislators and participated in local rallies asking Congress to oppose a draft House NCLB reauthorization proposal that would have placed even greater emphasis on test scores. The campaign also included Internet ads and radio spots.
Teachers and parents want a federal education law that measures students and schools on more than standardized test scores and uses reforms that have been proven to work, such as restoring the federal class size reduction program. The law should be adequately funded and provide resources for quality teacher training, mentors for new teachers, and programs that improve parental and family involvement in our schools.
CTA’s NCLB campaign is archived at www.cta.org. One compelling section, “NCLB Stories from the Front Lines,” features written testimony from teachers across the state telling how the law is hurting our students.