Archive for Staying Connected

Changes to No Child Left Behind?

“No Child Left Behind, which launched an unprecedented expansion of standardized testing, was widely acclaimed when it was enacted in 2002 under President George W. Bush. There were pledges that schools would get serious about closing achievement gaps, while helping every single child reach grade level in reading and math.

Now, the United States may be on the verge of another cycle of reform as schools hit an achievement ceiling. Lawmakers are calling the law rigid, punitive and unrealistic.” [washington post]

2014 is approaching & so is the surmounting goal of reaching 100% proficiency for all students.

one third of u.s. public schools failed in 2009.*

However, it appears that President Obama is looking to make changes in No Child Left Behind, aiming to make AYP (adequate yearly progress) more flexible while still maintaining high academic standards. This announcement came after expressing interest in replacing NCLB during the President’s State of the Union address.

Teachers nationwide are sitting with fingers crossed and questions still remain: How will low-achieving schools be held accountable? How would improvement be implemented? Will achieving schools and teachers be rewarded? What makes a teacher ‘highly qualified?’

Will we see an end to the looming 2014 deadline?

Though a clear cut answer is not in sight (just yet), lawmakers have been meeting for months in attempt to have a bill passed this year.

The Huffington Post states Obama’s focus is: “… for states to adopt standards that ensure students are ready for college or a career rather than grade-level proficiency.”

Other plans that would utilize the proposed increase to the educational budget include: implementation of programming to help train & recruit teachers, aid offered to ailing schools, and encouragement for charter schools.

Other political figures have noted a desire to have other subjects, not just math and reading, to be included in the evaluations of school achievement.

Others want a change in the name.

But overall, it is clear that the amendments made to NCLB will focus on the positive growth & success of schools rather than the current negativity and fixation on failing.

I guess that is encouraging & a much needed outlook for national education.

Stay Informed,
miss miller

To read more on this topic visit these articles:
Obama makes Education State of Union Centerpiece
Bipartisan Group of Senators Pledges to Work on Revamping ‘NCLB

Obama Seeks to make NCLB more flexible
‘NCLB’ facing changes

*according to the independent Center on Education Policy

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Do you know about Rosa’s Law?

Better late than never! Thought I’d pass along an important name change that is occurring on the national level, but in turn affects the vast world of teaching students with exceptionalities.

Rosa’s Law is named after 8-year-old Rosa Marcellino, who has Down Syndrome. After starting elementary school, the Marcellino family was shocked to find her labeled as “retarded” in school documents.  Their push to have this changed ended in a new law signed by President Obama, changing the way all people with exceptionalities will be addressed. Read the statement issued to educators below:

TO:       School District Superintendents
School District Special Education Directors
Charter School Chief Executive Officers
Intermediate Unit Executive Directors
Intermediate Unit Special Education Directors
[[I’m including you, too!]]

FROM:     John J. Tommasini
Bureau of Special Education

On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed into law Senate Bill 2781 (S.2781), referred to as Rosa’s Law.  Rosa’s Law (S. 2781) amends the provisions of Federal law to substitute the term “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” and “individuals with intellectual disabilities” for “mentally retarded” or “individuals who are mentally retarded.”  At this time, Rosa’s Law (S. 2781) does not require states to change terminology in state regulations for individuals covered by a provision amended by this Act.

Changes in Federal regulations will occur as they are reauthorized. Changes to both the Federal data reporting categories and Federal regulatory language is anticipated to occur with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Subsequent to the reauthorization of IDEA, Pennsylvania will make the required changes in terminology in state regulations.  This change in terminology reflects the belief that language plays a crucial role in how individuals with disabilities are perceived and treated in society. No changes have been made in the process of determination of disability categories.

President Obama hugs Rosa after signing the law

I love the statement about the impact of language. So I hope you can begin to include this change  in your everyday vocabulary! Read more about Rosa’s Law here.

miss miller

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