Jonathan Goldman at 415-509-1654 or Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769
BURLINGAME – David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, released this statement today expressing serious concerns and disappointment with President Obama's new "blueprint" for the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB):
“Educators were hopeful that President Obama’s promise of change would include a new approach to education reform—one that was collaborative, positive and based on proven success. Instead, the administration’s blueprint for reauthorizing ESEA appears to be built on the same one-size-fits-all and flawed foundation of George Bush’s NCLB Act—a law that has unfairly and unproductively used test scores to label public schools and students as failing for the past eight years without providing the necessary resources or promoting the proven reforms to help schools improve.
”Struggling schools need a broad range of targeted actions to ensure they succeed for every student. An overreliance on test scores will continue to narrow the curriculum and cause more teaching to the test. These schools also need proven answers along with the deep insight of the experienced professionals who actually work in schools and parental involvement.
“Currently, California ranks 46th nationally in what the state spends on education per student and is reeling from $17 billion in education cuts over the last two years. While the federal government only accounts for a small amount of overall school funding, now, more than ever, every dollar counts. It's alarming that the president wants to focus on a competition system that creates winners and losers – rather than creating quality neighborhood schools for all students. The administration’s approach will surely widen, not close, the achievement gaps that exist within our public education system.
“In order for today’s students to meet tomorrow's challenges, we need federal legislation that will help all students move forward and not leave those who are struggling behind. As the ESEA reauthorization process continues, CTA members will continue to lead the fight to inform Congress that all students deserve a quality public school education and that local stakeholders, including parents, must have more of a say into how to improve their neighborhood schools.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.