The Blog

ESEA Must Put Students at Center of Education Reform

Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), the original purpose of ESEA was to help raise achievement and close gaps in student learning. Unfortunately, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) -- as it’s now called -- is not working as intended. Reauthorization of the law presents an opportunity to really help ALL of America’s students this time.

Congress must be willing to make the appropriate investments in order to ensure that NCLB lives up to its original goals, that’s why we are urging lawmakers to craft fair, flexible, and innovative K-12 legislation that really can bring about sustainable positive change for our students.

The future of our students will depend on investing in classroom priorities widely recognized as essential to sustained effectiveness, such as quality early childhood learning, smaller class sizes particularly in the early grades, additional learning time, and increased and sustainable funding for public schools.

We need to put students at the center of education reform, and we need federal legislation that seeks to partner width and support state efforts in meaningful reform, not undermine it.

The federal government must balance its support of states and local school districts’ efforts width its critical role in ensuring equitable access to a quality education so that students in need have what they deserve to thrive in today’s society. Therefore, ESEA must effectively address existing inequities in public education that harm students and communities, particularly students and communities of color.

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