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Press Release: ASCD Releases 2013 Legislative Agenda

Alexandria, VA (01/29/2013)-—Today ASCD released its 2013 legislative agenda (PDF). Developed by the association’s legislative committee, which is a diverse cross-section of ASCD members representing the entire spectrum of K–12 education, the 2013 ASCD Legislative Agenda outlines the association’s federal public policy priorities for the year.

The key priority for ASCD and its members in 2013 is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“ESEA is the cornerstone of current federal K–12 education policy,” said David Griffith, ASCD director of Public Policy. “Thus, the top priority for ASCD and its members in 2013 is a comprehensive rewrite of ESEA that provides the necessary stability and long-term vision for our education system that helps ensure each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.”

Within a reauthorized version of ESEA, ASCD seeks provisions

Creating meaningful accountability systems,
Encouraging comprehensive improvement strategies, and
Promoting adequate and effective preparation and ongoing professional development for educators to improve student outcomes.

As policymakers and stakeholders address ESEA and other issues, ASCD believes the following concepts are some of the key elements that must be included in any federal policies to help ensure success for students, educators, and education systems:

The demands of today’s global society require a new approach to preparing our nation’s youth for college, careers, and citizenship. Policymakers should seek a comprehensive approach to learning recognizing that successful young people are knowledgeable, healthy, motivated, civically inspired, engaged in the arts, prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond their own borders.

The true measure of student proficiency, educator effectiveness, and school quality must be based on more than just students’ test scores on a few state standardized tests. Likewise, evaluations of educators’ effectiveness should be based on a combination of elements and could include students’ performance, classroom observations, and staff feedback.

All school improvement strategies—particularly interventions focused on the lowest-performing schools—must inform and engage all stakeholders; support enriched curriculum; enhance the school culture; provide high-quality teaching with ongoing professional learning to improve the quality of instruction; be commensurate with the need; and offer engaging learning opportunities that involve all students, families, and staff.

Evaluations of teachers and administrators must use multiple measures and lead to professional development opportunities that build the capacity of districts and schools to improve student outcomes.

The complete 2013 ASCD Legislative Agenda can be found at www.ascd.org/legislativeagenda. Visit www.ascd.org to learn more about ASCD programs, products, services, and membership.

Contact Information
Katie Test, communications specialist, 1-703-575-5608 or by e-mail.
Stephen Wakefield, communications director, 1-703-575-5764 or by e-mail.

ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 134 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. The nonprofit’s diverse, nonpartisan membership is its greatest strength, projecting a powerful, unified voice to decision makers around the world. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.

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