Report Summary CCSSO-NASBE-NGA Joint Statement on NCLB Reauthorization1 Introduction This report sets forth the joint recommendations of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), and National Governors Association (NGA) regarding the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. NCLB also is referred to as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The joint statement is appended by independent statements by working groups of each of the three organizations.2, 3, 4 The joint statement by the three groups makes 31 recommendations in 11 areas in which the groups concur that NCLB needs to be modified. The overall goal of the joint recommendations is captured in the appended report of NASBE’s Governmental Affairs Committee. In referring to NASBE’s Guiding Principles – but applicable to the joint position – it calls greater flexibility in NCLB by “shifting from a law of absolutes to one that recognizes that a onesize-fits-all approach is difficult, if not impossible, to implement with fifty states operating fifty different education systems.” Selected Recommendations from the Joint Statement The following recommendations are taken among those in six of the 11 areas targeted for modification. The other five areas receiving joint recommendations are: Address Special Populations; Optimize, Target, and Increase Resources; High School Reform; Reinforce Role of the States; and Peer Review. 1) Enhance state accountability systems by: allowing states to use state-determined accountability systems (e.g., growth models) to measure the progress of individual students; and promoting and providing support for states’ use of multiple measures to determine student progress in schools/districts designated in need of improvement. 2) Reinforce state assessment decisions by: assigning states and localities the authority to determine appropriate test instruments; and refraining from “mandating additional federal testing requirements.” 3) Create rewards and differentiate consequences for schools and districts by: providing sustained resources with which states can develop programs to help schools; broadening the options of states and districts to differentiate consequences and target interventions (e.g., depending upon whether the school or district missed AYP “by a little or a lot”); and allowing states to seek to raise student achievement through supplemental services before offering public school choice. 4) Support teacher quality by: supporting state strategies to recruit, retain, and reward teachers and principals; helping states to develop a highly qualified teacher workforce and address retention through such efforts as induction and mentoring programs; and supporting state strategies to encourage the best teachers to accept the most challenging teaching assignments, and to discourage both emergency certification and out-of-field teaching. 5) Support voluntary international benchmarking by: providing grants to governors and chief state school officers to analyze and voluntarily benchmark state standards against the skills measured by TIMSS and PISA.5 6) Ensure P-16+ alignment by: support the development of both state-level P-16 (or P-20) Councils and state-level P-16 (or P-20) data systems with the goal of creating seamless educational progression from preschool through higher education. Selected Recommendations Unique to CCSSO Properly assess students with disabilities against growth across grade levels or against growth consistent with Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. Include new immigrant English language learner (ELL) students in accountability based on multiple measures for at least the first three years. Amend NCLB to provide incentives for the development of performance systems that include growth in student achievement “as one of multiple measures.” Amend NCLB to provide additional and long-term funding for state assessments, state data systems, technology, and research and development. Selected Recommendations Unique to NASBE Report student assessment results in “formats and language that parents and the public can easily understand.” Align the standards of teacher preparation programs with standards of K-12 school systems. Require all graduates of teacher education programs – standard or alternate – to demonstrate “knowledge of basic skills, content area, child development, methods of instruction, and classroom management.” Cease the enforcement of NCLB through threatened or actual withholding of federal funding for programs unrelated to NCLB. Selected Recommendations Unique to NGA Assign the design of testing and accountability measures (based on state standards) to the states. Amend NCLB to provide states with awards or incentives for improving student performance and holding schools to high standards. Make substantial federal investments in “enhanced and aligned data systems, meaningful technical assistance, reliable research, ongoing professional development, enhanced student support services, and strong accountability systems.” Implement “real reform policies that emphasize strong educational and research systems at every level.” Discontinue the use of NAEP as “the primary measure of state proficiency or as a substitute for state assessments” and “closely consult with the Governors before mandating a twelfth grade NAEP.” About the Partnering Organizations The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is an nonprofit organization of public school officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, DC, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. Established in 1927, it undertakes projects to help state education agencies to understand, devise, and execute policy, to adopt initiatives to promote educational reform efforts, and to engage in collaborative exchanges to share best practices and model solutions. CCSSO offices are located at One Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001. TEL: 202-408-5505. WEBSITE: http://www.ccsso.org . The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is a non-profit organization founded in 1958. It works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, and assure continued citizen support for public education. NASBE offices are located at 227 Washington Street, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22314. TEL: 703684-4000. WEBSITE: http://www.nasbe.org . The National Governors Association (NGA), founded in 1908, is the collective voice of the nation's governors. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing policy reports on innovative state programs and hosting networking seminars for state government executive branch officials. NGA headquarters are at 444 North Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20001-1512. TEL: 202-624-5300. WEBSITE: http://www.nga.org . Caveat Emptor This summary was prepared by Bob Kansky ([email protected]), a faculty member of the Science & Mathematics Teaching Center at the University of Wyoming. It’s one of a series summaries offered to business, education, and policy leaders who are interested in the systemic improvement of mathematics and science education. The summary does not critique the report’s assumptions, methods, or conclusions. It simply uses a somewhat standardized format to provide a brief introduction to the content of the report. Readers are encouraged to consult the original document for further information. 1Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of State Boards of Education, & National Governors Association. (2007). Joint statement on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Washington, DC: Authors. 22 pages. Retrieved on 5 April 2007 from: http://www.nasbe.org/press_release/Joint_NCLB_Statement_NASBE_CCSSO_NGA_4.5.07.pdf 2ESEA Task Force of the Council of Chief State School Officers. (2007). Recommendations to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education act. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers. 3Governmental Affairs Committee of the National Association of State Boards of Education. (2007). NCLB reauthorization: Guiding principles. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Boards of Education. 4Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee of the National Governors Association. (2007). ECW-2: Education reform. Washington, DC: National Governors Association. 5For an introduction to (and comparison of) key features of TIMSS and PISA, see RSS items 32 and 33a. 6For information about the structure and function of P-16 Councils, see RSS items 10, 16, 17a, and 36b.