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NCLB Outrages

RETHINKING No Child Left Behind

Ohanian Comment: As I have noted before, unlike our labor unions and so-called educator professional associations, the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy has a long and commendable history of questioning No Child Left Behind. Tough and moral questioning of what's right for children. A couple of hot links are provided in the article below. For more hot links to resources, go to the url at the bottom.

THEN, ask your union and your professional association to wake up.

by Staff

"As Christians we believe that God desires for children the life abundant which comes from the fullest development of their gifts ΓΆ€” physical, intellectual, social and spiritual." ΓΆ€”1991, General Synod XVIII
--Pronouncement, "Support of Quality, Integrated Education for All Children in Public Schools"

The federal education law, now called the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), was scheduled for its five-year reauthorization in 2007, but that reauthorization has been delayed... very likely until 2009, when there is a new President, a new Congress, and a new Secretary of Education. With ecumenical and community partners, the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries has been working to ensure that serious problems in the law's implementation are remedied.

Reauthorization Delayed! New resources address pending reauthorization...
Take Action during summer-fall 2008 by sending the letter to Senators and Congressional Representatives at our TakeAction page. Please send the letter as-is or as you edit it, and urge others to do so.

Basic Resources from the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy include "Ten Moral Concerns in NCLB," Questions for Candidates, and NCLB Talking Points. These are basic advocacy resources for faithful advocates.

July 2, 2008... The National Education Association released Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020, a policy plan for transforming the federal role in public education when the federal education law is reauthorized. "Federal education policy needs more than a legislative tweak here and there," said NEA president, Reg Weaver. "A change in the White House must bring fundamental changes in how the federal government treats public education." NEA proposes that the federal government move beyond testing, labeling and punishing, and begin partnering with states to close achievement gaps for all students by: strengthening enforcement of civil rights laws to promote access and opportunity; funding past congressional actions and current federal mandates; and helping to create the capacity at the local and state level for school transformation.
June 10, 2008... "A Broader, BOLDER Approach to Education," was released with much fanfare by a prominent group of sixty leaders including Julian Bond, pediatricians T. Berry Brazelton and James Comer, school superintendents Rudy Crew and Arnie Duncan, sociologists Pedro Noguera and William Julius Wilson, educators Linda Darling-Hammond and Deborah Meier, and including the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. The statement refutes both the strategy and the philosophy of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the federal education law, whose five-year reauthorization is pending in Congress. Signers believe it will take a far greater effort by not only improving schools, but also expanding access to quality early childhood experiences, expanding access to pediatric care for all children, and improving out-of-school activities for children. At the the project's website, you are asked to co-sign. Please add your name to this effort.

May 2008... A Faith-Based Study Guide to support congregational study of the shocking new book, TESTED by Linda Perlstein, is now available from the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy. Use this resource to help a reading group in your congregation discuss this book about the problems for one elementary school of the federal test-and-punish philosophy of education. We provide an action letter to Congress on our TakeAction Site for members of your group to send as part of your study. It is a way to remind your Senators and Congressional Representative that justice in public education is much on your mind, even as the reauthorization of NCLB is delayed.

Here are important resources to support your work:

UCC Justice & Witness Ministries Background Resources Look here for faithful reflection on this legislation.

Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind and FEA Alliance This is an alliance in which UCC Justice & Witness Ministries is active.

Important Articles, Reports, and Studies

Additional Websites for Further Resources on the No Child Left Behind Reauthorization

Reauthorization History

— Staff
United Church of Christ


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