"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ASCD Response to PDK Gallup Poll

The annual PDK poll is out, and if there is anything that stands out at first glance, it is how NCLB has been effective in smashing public confidence in the public schools. While 3 out of 4 Americans believe NCLB has done nothing to help their local schools, that does not alter the fact that NCLB is crushing public confidence, with 60% giving public schools a "C" or worse. From MarketWatch:
Last update: 6:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 21, 2008
ALEXANDRIA, Va.,, Aug 21, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Americans want educators, not politicians, to work with the new president to improve NCLB
According to a statement by Gene R. Carter, Executive Director of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, results from the 40th Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK)/Gallup Poll of the "Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools" send a clear message
about the need to improve U.S. education:

-- Fewer than 2 of 10 Americans believe No Child Left Behind (NCLB) should continue without significant change. Only 1 in 4 think the legislation is helping their local schools.
-- Americans fear U.S. schools are not keeping up in today's global economy. About half gave schools in Europe and Asia grades of As and Bs, compared with the more than 60 percent who assigned U.S. schools grades of Cs or below.
-- The vast majority of the American public--77 percent--feels the new president should rely on educators for advice about how to turn around our flailing education system.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) represents a wide spectrum of educators--classroom teachers, principals, district administrators, curriculum developers, college professors, and others--who know what's best for our children. Our members' on-the-ground understanding of how to improve student achievement is the basis of ASCD's policy recommendations for improving NCLB.

A cornerstone of NCLB is the assessment of students and schools. But the law's current assessment and accountability system relies heavily on standardized tests that provide just a snapshot of student knowledge and ability at a single moment in time. When the PDK/Gallup Poll asked Americans to choose the assessment method they believe provides the most accurate picture of student achievement, more chose examples of student work and teacher observations than test scores. And 80 percent of Americans think school performance should be measured by student academic progress instead of the percentage of students who pass a state test.

ASCD educators stand ready to help the new administration improve U.S. education policies. Will the next president work to recast the definition of a successful learner from one whose achievement is measured solely by academic tests to one who is knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically inspired, engaged in the arts, prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling? If not, he will jeopardize both our kids' future success in the workplace and our country's future success in the global marketplace.

For complete results from the PDK/Gallup Poll, visit http://www.pdkpoll.org. To access ASCD's 2008 Legislative Agenda, visit http://www.ascd.org/legislativeagenda.

Founded in 1943, ASCD, a nonprofit association, is one of the largest professional development organizations for educator leaders. It provides education information services; offers cutting-edge professional development for effective learning, teaching, and leadership; and supports activities to provide educational equity for all students. ASCD's membership of more than 175,000 includes principals, teachers, superintendents, professors of education, and other educators from 119 countries. The Association also has nearly 60 affiliates throughout the world.

SOURCE Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

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