Tuesday, January 02, 2007

"Getting Smarter, Becoming Fairer: A Progressive Education Agenda for a Stronger Nation"

Good information that I just got from the Assessment Reform Network (ARN) Listserve. This report is worth checking out. -Angela

The task force mentioned below in Susan's message is one that was formed in 2005:

It released a report called "Getting Smarter, Becoming Fairer: A Progressive Education Agenda for a Stronger Nation" that can be found at

So does this mean that Pelosi is going to re-convene this task force? If so, this might give a good sense of how the Dems will try to re-package NCLB.

Key provisions: (see

1) Extend the school year in low-performing schools, expand after-school programs, pay for universal preschool and full-day kindergarten and increase federal college grants.

2) Develop a uniform, but voluntary, set of nationwide student learning goals, or curriculum, for core courses.

3) Improve teacher training and offer financial incentives to entice teachers to work in high-poverty schools.

4) Link neighborhood schools with their communities and families by providing such things as social services, English classes, parenting skills classes and home visits.

Estimated cost: the plan calls for a $325 billion investment in education over the next 10 years. It would cost $39 billion annually once it is fully implemented in 2010.

Approximately $21 billion would go toward the flagship commitment of expanding and redesigning learning time, including $7.2 billion to extend the school year in low-performing districts; $3.6 billion to expand after-school programs; $8.7 billion to support universal preschool and full-day kindergarten and $8.4 billion to redesign and connect high school to affordable college study, offset by a savings of $7 billion by abolishing bank-subsidizing student loans.

Additionally, $6 billion annually would put more highly qualified teachers in classrooms; $6 billion would link schools to families and communities and $6 billion would be set aside for investments in school facilities, assistance to low-performing schools and the development of national standards and high-quality assessments.

The $39 billion annual investment would come from the federal government and would be accompanied by additional increases at the state and local levels. The proposal doesn't pinpoint a source for the additional funds but suggests that by forgoing future tax cuts, such as the elimination of the estate tax, the federal government could pay for the plan.

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