Congress is continuing work on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Since the law’s last reauthorization in 2002, the AFT and its state and local affiliates have worked with the U.S. Department of Education, state and local education authorities, and others in the civil rights and education communities to help achieve the positive goals of ESEA.
The AFT’s priorities for ESEA directly reflect the needs of our members. A reauthorized ESEA should focus more on fostering shared responsibility among all stakeholders and less on making teachers solely responsible. It should include real help for consistently low-performing schools, and move toward high-quality common standards that are aligned with a comprehensive curriculum and valid assessments. It also should include resources for implementing teacher support systems that are more effective. And the law should maintain highly targeted funding for students in greatest need.