Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Des Moines Public Schools Holds Forum to Hear of Needed Changes to "No Child Left Behind"

The Des Moines School Board, along with representatives from several other metro area school districts, met with a panel of education policy experts on Tuesday evening, August 21st to consider proposed changes in the No Child Left Behind law. There were at least 30 metro area school board members and school superintendents present in the audience!

I give a great deal of credit to Des Moines Education Association (DMEA) President Alan Young for bringing about this discussion. A passion of Alan's is making needed changes to NCLB.

Major changes made in 2001 to the federal Elementary & Secondary Education Act, now commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), were intended to provide greater focus on student achievement. However, several education constituencies – including state education officials, school boards, and teachers – have had concerns about the implementation of NCLB and developed recommendations for change.

“One way or another, NCLB impacts every student and every school, both here in Iowa and around the nation,” said Ginny Strong, vice president of the School Board. “Iowa is now at center stage in discussing important policy issues, and education is one that must be a top priority.”

The School Board will meet with a panel of education policy experts familiar with various proposed changes to NCLB:

· Pam Armstrong-Vogel, Iowa Assoc. for the Supervision of Curriculum Development
· Jeff Berger, Iowa Department of Education
· Margaret Buckton, Iowa Association of School Boards
· Maxine Kilcrease, Heartland Area Education Association
· Joel Packer, National Education Association

I was especially proud to have representing ISEA/NEA, Team NEA staffer Joel Packer! Alan Young of the DMEA worked with Team ISEA to bring Joel to Des Moines for this important forum.

School Board members may consider support of proposed changes to NCLB as they were encouraged to lobby our Iowa Members of Congress as the reauthorization moves forward.

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