Today, the Forum on Educational Accountability, a national network of major education, civil rights, religious, disability, parent, civic and labor groups which FairTest staffs, issued a detailed proposal for Congress to address as part of the pending overhaul of the deeply flawed "No Child Left Behind" law.
The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) today called on U.S. policymakers to address Opportunity to Learn concerns, such as directing federal funds to enhance school equity, in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In a statement titled "All Children Deserve the Opportunity to Learn" the education, civil rights and other leaders also called on the new National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence, announced by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and beginning its deliberations today, to adopt FEA's recommendations.
The FEA statement urges Congress to take action to address six core areas:
- address funding disparities and equity in education;
- support students with diverse learning needs, both in and out of school;
- take additional steps to ensure all children have access to highly effective teachers, leaders and other school personnel;
- provide increased access to opportunity through high quality preschool;
- work with states to ensure adequate school facilities, programs, and services; and
- promote school policies, including discipline, that ensure a climate conducive to learning.
"Most people agree that all children deserve an opportunity to learn to their fullest potential," explained Molly Hunter, director of the Education Justice Project at the Education Law Center. "The FEA statement makes clear what they really need to succeed. These simple steps would help kids and our communities succeed, and would make our nation stronger."