Thursday, May 7, 2015

BATs TO U.S. CONGRESS:  TIME TO TAKE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!

On May 6th BATs launched a letter writing campaign to tell the U.S. Congress to pass ESEA.  It is a step in the right direction. Please join our letter writing campaign here https://actionnetwork.org/letters/time-to-take-a-step-in-the-right-direction

Dear Representative/Senator:

On behalf of the 55,000 members of the Badass Teachers Association (BATs) and the students we serve, we urge a Yes vote on the Every Child Achieves Act.

It is time to move into a direction of change that supports public school children and the teachers charged with their education.

Public education and public educators are under attack, and have been for many years. Both NCLB and Race to the Top undermined the efficacy of Public School educators to provide a balanced program of studies in our classrooms and have forced a schism in our public policy. The Every Child Achieves Act will move us forward with what our organization believes is the highest priority: Equity.

We encourage you to vote YES for the following 10 reasons:
1. Every Child Achieves Act will limit the authority of the Secretary of Education and return control of education back to the states;
2. Establishes appropriate class size, specifically in low income areas;
3. Gives clear/expanded rights to homeless children in order for them to continue attending their original school.
4. Allows English Language Learners to appropriately remain in their classes longer;
5. Continues Head Start and Early Start programs;
6. Restores the Jacob Javits Act, providing adequate support for gifted and talented students;
7. Eliminates Annual Yearly Progress. Schools should not be reduced to a single numeric score;
8 Adds early intervention services;
9. Supports early childhood programs; and
10. Prohibits Title I portability provisions.

The membership of our grassroots organization remains concerned that Every Child Achieve Act falls short, specifically in the need to eliminate excessive testing: the Teach to the Test mandate is destroying school culture and defeating consistent, developmentally appropriate curriculum.
We support the Tester Amendment which inserts grade span testing into the act. We support grade span testing but agree that this should be done by a random sample. Gauging the health and vitality of a school is not “testable.” Simply, we do not need to test every child, every year to gauge if a school is meeting the needs of its children.

We have serious concerns with the arbitrary and inappropriate 1 percent cap on the number of alternative assessments for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities. We must provide our English Language Learners sufficient time to become proficient in the language.
We are strongly opposed to the Act's promotion of merit pay and charter expansion. BATs  believes that teacher evaluation based on student test scores is specious and, through that process, anchors teachers to professional failure. Every Child Achieves should support Public Education and Public School teachers.

We believe our nation deserves better, but the Every Child Achieves Act is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for your attention.




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