Walden relays Oregon priorities to federal education head
Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today reiterated to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings the state's priorities for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law at a bipartisan education forum in the Capitol.
"As a parent of a high school student attending public school in Oregon, I know how hard our teachers work to help students reach their potential," Congressman Walden said. "It's important to both know where progress is being made, and where more work remains. I told Secretary Spellings that it is a priority for the Oregon delegation to permit the use of growth models to determine student academic growth. We should be able to measure classes as they progress from year to year to recognize the continuous improvement that a group of students makes."
Walden's discussion with Spellings complemented a letter he sent with the Oregon delegation to the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee relaying six federal education priorities they wish to see incorporated into NCLB when it is reauthorized. These priorities were identified with Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo and include:
* Enhancing State Accountability Systems Allow states to use growth modeling in determining individual student academic growth;
* Reinforcing State Assessment Decisions Respect each state's ability to develop federal law-compliant, innovative, accurate and effective assessment tools;
* Creating Rewards and Differentiate Consequences Shift from focusing on consequences to supporting proactive state and local solutions, providing incentives and celebrating success;
* Providing Incentives for Technology-Based Testing Promote cost-effective, technology-based, adaptive testing assessment systems;
* Addressing Special Populations Use alternate assessments for students with disabilities and English language learners (ELL) that more accurately reflect student gains; and,
* Supporting Teacher Quality Allow for greater flexibility regarding Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements to help states retain effective educators.
The Tuesday meeting in the Capitol was between a small bipartisan group of lawmakers and Spellings to discuss No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization, particularly as it relates to accountability for schools that have been categorized as "in need of improvement" for five years.