NCTAF Commends the Congressional Bipartisan Agreement to Reauthorize ESEA
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Karen Cheeks
NCTAF Commends the Congressional Bipartisan Agreement to
Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 10, 2015 – Today, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) announced its support of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the legislation that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The new education law shifts the authority of schools back to the states and provides an avenue for education leaders to develop rigorous, specific systems of assessments that better align with academic state standards and competency-based learning models.
Improvements from ESSA will allow more flexibility for teachers to personalize learning and better prepare students for college and career readiness. Opportunities for states to innovate, improve assessment and evaluation, provide evidence-based targeted interventions, and offer greater support for teachers and students are encouraging. In addition, the outlined areas of assessment – measuring individual student growth, using multiple measures of student learning to determine summative scores, and incorporating adaptive assessments to gauge student learning – will help teachers better understand how to adjust instruction.
As part of its Great Teaching Initiative, NCTAF will build on its long history of working with state leaders to develop and implement policies that support great teaching. With this shift of responsibility from federal to state leaders, NCTAF is poised to help states implement the new law with action steps and recommendations from its report slated to be released in Spring 2016.
“While this is not a perfect law, ESSA provides a breath of fresh air for teachers and students and attempts to move away from the punitive nature of No Child Left Behind,” said Melinda George, President of NCTAF. “However, it will be important for states to continue to be transparent about what is and is not working well in schools so that all students are served well and educators can learn from one another.”
The National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) was founded in 1994 as a bipartisan effort to engage education policymakers and practitioners to address the entrenched national challenge of recruiting, developing, and retaining great teachers in order to ensure that all students have access to quality teaching in schools organized for success. For 20 years, NCTAF has worked to drive and inform the national dialogue about the importance of great teaching, especially in hard-to-staff schools. NCTAF’s research and recommendations inform innovations and improvements in teaching quality nationwide, focus attention on the importance of equitable distribution and retention of teachers, and promote promising practices for the development of teachers’ skills and career pathways. For more information, visit www.nctaf.org.