It’s a safe bet to say Sen. Crapo and I didn’t see eye to eye on most things discussed during the Town Hall meeting in Parma today. However, we did share ample common ground regarding what we consider to be federal overreach of State’s education policies, particularly regarding the federal mandate to assess students annually.
Senator Crapo proposed some terrific legislation back in January this year that would have made a tremendous difference for Idaho’s students titled the Local Leadership Education Act with it’s stated purpose as:
To prohibit the Federal Government from mandating, incentivizing, or coercing States to adopt the Common Core State Standards or any other specific academic standards, instructional content, curricula, assessments, or programs of instruction.
Unfortunately, the upcoming vote on reauthorizing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) now known as the Every Child Achieves Act largely leaves in place almost all the elements his own legislation in January was designed to combat, namely the onerous provision of administering an annual standardized test to the bulk of Idaho’s students; a requirement that takes away from instruction, closes computer labs, causes tears for students and teachers alike, and allows private companies like Pearson to pocket billions at the expense of schools and students.
And while I certainly cannot disagree with Sen. Crapo when he stated that the new legislation is much less bitter than NCLB, that is besides the point. We aren’t trying to give our students and children a less bitter education policy; rather, we are trying to give them excellent education policy that actually improves their outcomes.
Sen. Crapo indicated that he was still considering how he feels; however, there will be a vote cast next week on the Senate floor. He needs to hear from you either in person or phone on why this renewal vote on NCLB is bad news for schools and teachers before he is asked to cast his vote next week!
Click on my previous blog entry to see dates and locations Sen. Crapo will be in Idaho during this week as well as contact information and talking points when addressing the topic with the Senator.
Please take an hour of your time to attend one of his town halls in person to advocate for Idaho’s students on why an NCLB renewal without significant changes is bad news for Idaho’s kiddos and America’s children.