For the Future of Our Children, We Stand Strong in Support of…

Equitable funding across all public schools & school systems

  • Full public funding of family and community support services
  • Full funding for 21st century school and neighborhood libraries
  • An end to economically and racially re-segregated schools

An end to high stakes testing used for the purpose of student, teacher, & school evaluation

  • The use of multiple and varied assessments to evaluate students, teachers, and schools
  • An end to pay per test performance for teachers and administrators
  • An end to public school closures based upon test performance

Teacher, family, & community leadership in forming public education policies

  • Educator and civic community leadership in drafting new ESEA legislation
  • Federal support for local school programs free of punitive and competitive funding
  • An end to political and corporate control of curriculum, instruction and assessment decisions for teachers and administrators

Curriculum responsive to and inclusive of local school communities

  • Support for teacher and student access to a wide-range of instructional programs and technologies
  • Well-rounded education that develops every student’s intellectual, creative, and physical potential
  • Opportunities for multicultural/multilingual curriculum for all students
  • Small class sizes that foster caring, democratic learning communities

Professional, qualified, & committed teachers in all public schools

  • Competent, licensed, degreed education professionals to ensure meaningful learning for all children.
  • Funding for policies that reflect respect for teaching as a complex, demanding and expertise-driven profession.
  • Collaborative participation in the design and maintenance of teacher preparation programs and high quality on-going professional development opportunities.
  • Professional learning communities with full academic and democratic rights for the benefit of all children.
  • Policies developed collaboratively with professional educators that ensure ethical standards and accountability for the academic progress of students.

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Consider These Questions…
Paths towards true Progress in Public Education

This movement is dedicated to finding a better path for education reform in this country. So in that spirit, we ask: What is the right path forward for public education in the United States?

Consider these questions — what do you see as the goal for public education? What do you wish to have accomplished? How will you know when we get there? In other words, what is the aim of public education in the United States?

The right path forward allows the flexibility and inclusiveness necessary for community and teacher leadership in forming public education policies. Most people understand that involvement of the very people that will try to make a plan work is most likely to be successful when those people do the planning; our leaders haven’t heard that belief?

The right path provides the freedom to allow the curriculum to be developed for and by local school communities based on their unique needs, desires, and resources. The best educational outcomes occur when teaching practices are followed that are based on research, the evidence it reveals, and is guided by an instructional framework. Does our government not understand that it has a responsibility to support education research and share that information?

The right path develops a system that is itself accountable to the people it exists to serve therefore putting an end to high stakes testing for student, teacher, and school evaluation. That would effectively end classroom practices that may improve test scores but don’t improve education. To move forward, isn’t it time to admit that No Child Left Behind had unintended consequences because its expectations rested on test scores?

The right path for the United States has historically been the one towards equality and opportunity. So, equitable funding for all public school communities shouldn’t be a hard choice for the country to make. The best schools are well-funded and surrounded by community supports. All our children deserve nothing less.

The right path forward begins by putting the public back in the lead to make all our schools better. Together we can change the direction of misguided national education policies. They take aim at the wrong solutions. They set the wrong goal. This time, it’s important that we get it right.

“America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.” –Jane Addams

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Readings and References.