Teacher to Teacher—Listening to Teachers about a New ESEA

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The Teaching Ambassador Fellows from the Department of Education plan to have conversations with you: Teachers. Teachers listening to other teachers about your ideas on a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Many of us know federal education law as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), not as ESEA. NCLB was the name given to ESEA’s 2002 iteration, but ESEA is a law that’s been on the books since 1965. Having conversations with you now is more important than ever, since ESEA is up for reauthorization.

The Teaching Ambassador Fellows are classroom teachers who were chosen from across the country in a competitive process to work with the Department for a year. Our job is to learn more about and contribute our thoughts on policy at the Department and, in turn, reach out to teachers about the direction of education policy. We want to be your eyes and ears.

There are plenty of hot topics to address: testing, accountability, empowering local educators, and teacher evaluation, to name a few. We hope to get to as many of them as possible in live conversations. We also want to use this space to keep the dialogue going. We’ll be reading your posts and updating this blog with notes from our conversations in the field. And we’ll be communicating your views to leadership here at the Department.

So let’s get started. Here’s our first question.

Many teachers say they support ESEA’s accountability measures, but that they need to be fair, based on students’ academic growth, and can’t be arbitrary or based on a single test score. What are your thoughts on how we do this best? What would it look like in your classroom? What would tests have to look like for you to think they were fair?

Stay tuned for announcements about conversations in your area. The Teacher Ambassadors hail from most regions in the country, so we hope to hear from many of you. Read more on us and where we’re from.

Teaching Ambassador Fellows