AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

WHEREAS, the AFT continues to be a leader and steadfast supporter for high learning standards for all students; and

WHEREAS, improving student performance is highly dependent on the availability of adequate resources; and

WHEREAS, the resources to support the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) promised by the federal government have been cut by the Congress and the president causing additional financial hardships for states; and

WHEREAS, increasingly, NCLB redirects funds necessary to support teaching and learning for public school choice and supplemental educational services; and

WHEREAS, Supplemental Educational Service (SES) providers do not have to meet the same highly qualified standards required for public school teachers; and

WHEREAS, improving student performance is positively linked to having appropriately certified and highly qualified teachers working with students; and

WHEREAS, SES providers can, under several circumstances, exclude children with disabilities from receiving services; and

WHEREAS, many people question whether the current assessments are aligned with the state standards and curriculum; and

WHEREAS, the academic abilities of English language learners with and without interrupted formal education in their native country are not being accurately identified and measured using existing state and local assessments; and

WHEREAS, a report published by the independent education think tank Education Sector calls for an increase from $406 million to $860 million for states to develop better tests to address factors such as the scale of standardized testing required by NCLB, competitive pressures in the testing industry, tight regulatory deadlines, the dearth of testing experts and lax state oversight, which are resulting in state tests that undermine NCLB's pursuit of higher academic standards; and

WHEREAS, adequate fiscal resources have not been provided to states and local school districts to develop, to administer or to score these assessments; and

WHEREAS, the results of these assessments are not available in a timely fashion to help guide instruction or adequately identify professional development needs; and

WHEREAS, many teachers report that the preparation, administration and scoring of standardized assessments reduces valuable instructional time; and

WHEREAS, there continues to be growing frustration over the federal government's policies infringing upon state and local control of education; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has not consistently and equitably approved state-requested modifications to state plans; and

WHEREAS, the federal government does not routinely notify states of newly allowable practices; and

WHEREAS, there is the appearance that all states may not receive equal consideration of their requests:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers call upon Congress to fully fund NCLB; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT urge Congress to extend the date when all students must achieve proficiency until full funding and appropriate tests are in place in all states; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to strenuously oppose the redirection of federal resources from public schools to private providers; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT lobby the Department of Education to make public all variances granted to states and that all states have the ability to opt for any approved variance; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT lobby the Department of Education to allow states to use only valid and reliable tests that identify educational needs and can be used to direct professional development; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT urge the Department of Education to develop and establish procedures to implement federal policy concerning the use of an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards for students with disabilities and eliminate arbitrary limitations on the percent of students who would be allowed to be included in a state's accountability system for purposes of calculating adequate yearly progress; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT urge the Department of Education to develop and establish federal policy that enables English language learners to be included in a state's assessment and accountability system in a fair and valid manner, especially late-entry English language learners who may require extended years to gain English language proficiency and to graduate from a traditional high school program; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT address ongoing concerns over school and school district identification and the federal government's continued encroachment upon state and school district control of education; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT work with the Department of Education to require all SES providers to use only appropriately certified and highly qualified teachers for private Supplemental Educational Service providers paid with Title I funds.


(2006)