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Since its beginning in 1943, ASCD has been a strong voice in the debate about educational issues that affect learning and teaching. As a nonpartisan education association, ASCD continues to advocate for policies and practices that ensure each child has access to educational excellence and equity.
Learn about our current positions.
Browse a full listing of all ASCD positions.
Read about our position development process.
Standards Development and Implementation
ASCD supports high standards for student learning and achievement that are the result of a development process that is state-led, transparent, and implemented under the following principles:
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Educating Students in a Changing World
As educators in the 21st century, we are charged with educating students to be successful in a complex, interconnected world. This responsibility requires schools to prepare students for technological, cultural, economic, informational, and demographic changes.
ASCD supports changes in teaching, learning, and leadership that adequately prepare students for the 21st century and graduate students who:
The Whole Child
The current direction in educational practice and policy focuses overwhelmingly on academic achievement. However, academic achievement is but one element of student learning and development and only a part of any complete system of educational accountability. ASCD believes a comprehensive approach to learning recognizes that successful young people are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, motivated, civically inspired, engaged in the arts, prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond their own borders.
Together, these elements support the development of a child who is healthy, knowledgeable, motivated, and engaged. To develop a whole child requires the following contributions:
Health and Learning
Successful learners are not only knowledgeable and productive but also emotionally and physically healthy, motivated, civically engaged, prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond their own borders.
Because emotional and physical health are critical to the development of the whole child, ASCD believes that health should be fully embedded into the educational environment for all students. Health and learning
Closing the Achievement Gap
For all students to excel academically and thrive as individuals, we must raise the bar and provide them with the access to high-quality learning, curriculum, and instruction. Educators, policymakers, and the public must understand the grave consequences of persistent gaps in student achievement and demand that addressing these gaps becomes a policy and funding priority. ASCD believes that to close the achievement gap, all underserved populations—high-poverty students, students with special learning needs, students of different cultural backgrounds, nonnative speakers, and urban and rural students—must have access to
Multiple Measures of Assessment
Decision makers in education—students, parents, educators, community members, and policymakers—all need timely access to information from many sources if they are to make informed judgments about student learning and the success of education programs. Using a single achievement test as the sole measure of learning is inappropriate.
Determining success of students, schools, districts, states/provinces, or nations should be based on multiple assessments of and for learning. ASCD supports the use of multiple measures in assessment systems that are
Professional educators need to provide leadership in creating the conditions necessary for all children to have access to high-quality education and to find their places in an increasingly complex world. Educators must promote the creation of education policy that supports best practice, as well as a modern accountability system that uses a variety of methods when making judgments about student achievement and learning.
ASCD's position adoption process is one example of how the association fosters public and policy support for its beliefs, values, goals, and immediate policy concerns.
In March 2012, the ASCD Board of Directors approved a new process for considering potential positions of the association:
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