Readers: Here’s how we’d change ESEA

3. Rethink the needs of special-education students.

“One change I would like to see is our special-education students’ test scores looked at in a growth model instead of a proficient/advanced model used by regular education students.” —Anita Reagan, professional school counselor, Central Middle School

4. Support English language learners.

“Address the needs of our English language learners (ELLs)—our growing population that affects every classroom. All teachers need to be prepared with professional development in language acquisition, SIOP, etc.” —Maura Sedgeman, Dearborn Public Schools, Michigan

5. Develop new criteria for Supplementary Educational Services (SES).

“This has been the most disturbing to our school community, because of the funds it generates for vendors who are not in the business to provide tutoring to our students, but are in the business to turn a substantial profit from the futures of our children. It has become a rush to get as many students signed up to generate the most money for each company. The template used allows all vendors to select their own assessment instruments and curriculum. It is impossible to determine the effectiveness of any vendor, because of the way the reporting is done.

“We can still set aside the funds … however, my suggestion is that we contract with a vendor who would need to respond to a proposal with very specific criteria identified that would allow an evaluation of the effectiveness of the funding on an annual basis. Part of the Title I funding requires an evaluation of the resources allocated; however, we cannot evaluate the SES program, because every single vendor is different. The $1.3 million we allocate is a mandate that we honor, but the funds are not truly helping students, nor can we measure growth according to a common assessment.” —Marisa DiMauro, Director of Categorical Programs, Madera Unified School District

eSchool News Staff

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