What’s Wrong with “No Child Left Behind” and…
How You Can Lobby Congress to Overhaul It Now
Session Presenters: Gary Ratner and Victoria Young
Session Type(s): Workshop
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012
Time: 2:45 – 4:15 PM
Room: To Be Arranged
While the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB) is widely disliked, many of us may not know specifically what’s wrong with it, how it needs to be changed and why it is important to overhaul it now, even though about half the states have gotten temporary waivers from some of its worst mandates.
This workshop begins by describing NCLB’s key policies, its false assumptions and harmful effects. Next, it describes how NCLB should be restructured: dramatically shift its emphasis from “tests and sanctions” to “helping schools improve,” especially by federal support for schools’ adoption of the common elements of successful school turnarounds.
Then, the bulk of the workshop focuses on actually preparing you to lobby your Congressman’s or Senator’s office (or that of other public officials) to change NCLB (or other education laws at the state or local level.) This includes a presentation of the nuts and bolts of how to lobby. The workshop culminates in attendees learning the ropes by participating in a role-playing exercise designed to simulate a real lobbying meeting. (This exercise has been found to be quite engaging and instructive.)
She began her volunteer service to the Save Our Schools effort as the Chair of the Information Coordinating Committee for the 2011 March and Rally and continues to honor July 30th as National Support Public Education Day. She hopes to see it become a national tradition.