WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll on public education sends a direct message to members of Congress as they begin to draft the next version of the No Child Left Behind Act: After four years, this law is not making the grade.
No Child Left Behind needs significant changes before it will live up to its promise, and the survey’s findings suggest strong public support for AFT proposals for improvements. Four out of five of those polled believe the law should give schools credit when students make good progress. A majority of respondents reject school vouchers and transfers, instead calling for improvements to existing public schools. The public also shares teachers’ concern about the misuse and overuse of testing, narrowing of the curriculum and a shortage of funds for public schools. All of these are in line with the AFT’s recommendations for improving the law.
No Child Left Behind holds schools and students accountable. Members of Congress should be held accountable, as well. That means listening to the public–and to the teachers who are on the frontlines of education. For our students’ sake, Congress needs to make sure the next version of this law is fair, flexible and fully funded.