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Sun Jul 12, 2015, 08:49 AM

Inside: Title IX Coordinator Pledge,

AAUW Washington Update

When I started working at AAUW in 2011, my predecessor told me I could expect to see Congress act on updating the No Child Left Behind Act the end of that year. It was already years overdue for an update, and the law was so unpopular. Finally, over four years later, Congress looks like it might actually be on the verge of completing its work to scrap NCLB, and move forward with a new bill.

Both the Senate and the House debated and voted on several amendments this week. The House ended up passing a horrible bill that takes a Grand Canyon size step backwards in educational opportunity and civil rights for students. H.R. 5 eliminates important federal protections and students' civil rights, fails to hold states and school districts accountable for closing achievement gaps and ensuring our students are meeting college-and career-ready standards, lowers education funding to 2012 levels, eliminates funding for Title IX enforcement grants, and more.

On the other hand, the Senate has moved in a bipartisan way and is moving in the right direction. The Senate bill includes several AAUW priorities which should seem very familiar to those of you who are signed up for our Action Alerts http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/public-policy/two-minute-activist/. Among the highlights passed in the past two days: Sen. Blumenthal's amendment to fund state work on Title IX enforcement, Sen. Murray's amendment to provide data on high school athletic program expenditures for girls and boys (High School Data Transparency Act), Sen. Gillibrand's amendment to provide STEM programs for girls and minority students (STEM Gateways Act), are all included in the bill. But, there's still more work to do to make the bill better before it comes up for a final vote next week.

AAUW has called for an update of federal education policies since NCLB expired in 2007, but we need to make sure that any legislation that is ultimately signed into law ensures strong academic principles to closing the achievement gap for all children - objectives at the heart of ESEA. We also must insist on adequate funding for education priorities. The federal government has a critical role to play in attaining these goals, and AAUW endorses the use of a robust accountability system that helps ensure all children are prepared to be successful, participating members of our democracy.

The Senate is on the right track with its bipartisan approach to education policy, but there's work to be done to make sure a strong Senate bill passes next week and that its progress is not derailed by the partisan and destructive House proposal which must be conferenced before the bill is sent to the President.


Erin Prangly

Associate Director of Government Relations

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Reply Inside: Title IX Coordinator Pledge, (Original post)
Panich52 Jul 2015 OP
Igel Jul 2015 #1
roody Jul 2015 #2

Response to Panich52 (Original post)

Sun Jul 12, 2015, 10:17 AM

1. Ensuring our students meet college and career readiness standards.

Most CCRS include things like trigonometry and symbolic manipulation of algebraic equations.

I see a lot of kids who can't do this.

Heck, I watched one kid years ago struggle with a question. "If a student spills acid on himself, what should he do. (a) Continue the experiment. (b) Tell a friend. (c) Tell the teacher when convenient. (d) Immediately rinse it off in water."

The student stared and stared and stared at the question. Finally the teacher in the classroom asked what he didn't understand. "Who spilled the acid on himself?" Without missing a beat, the teacher said, "Devante." "Well, then Devante had better rinse it off with water!" He was just that dependent on the detail; he couldn't generalize. If the quiz had said "If you spilled acid on yourself," that would have been fine. "A student" as a variable ranging over the set of all students was too much for him to process. Perhaps he had a disability, but if so it wasn't diagnosed.

Now put him in an algebra II class with symbolic manipulation, a physics class where Fnet = ma and he has derive Fnet for a block on a slope or a particle in a magnetic field. Hard enough to get kids like that to just be able to subtract two forces at 180 degree angles, while F = ma, m = F/a, and a = F/m are on the board.

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Response to Panich52 (Original post)

Sun Jul 12, 2015, 10:54 AM

2. We won't close the "achievement"

aka "test score" gap until we eradicate poverty.

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