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Alexandria, VA (7/5/12)—A broad new coalition, led by ASCD and joined by more than two dozen national education organizations, has been formed to better advocate for school programs beyond reading, math, and science. Representing a wide array of subject areas, the members of the College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness Coalition are working to advance the concept that a comprehensive education in all core academic subjects, including physical education and health education, is necessary to prepare graduates for college and careers.
In its last three budget requests, the Obama administration has proposed collapsing programs that support arts, history, civics, foreign languages, geography, and economics into one initiative, requiring these subjects to compete against one another for resources. It also continues to propose a similar consolidation that would pit programs against one another that support school counseling, physical education, and safe and drug-free schools.
In addition, Congress has made deep cuts to some of these programs over the past two years, including completely eliminating funding for history, civics, geography, and economics programs. For FY13, the Senate Appropriations Committee maintained funding for only those college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness programs that were funded last year: Elementary and Secondary School Counseling ($52 million), Physical Education Program ($78 million), and Arts in Education ($26.5 million).
"These actions threaten schools’ and districts’ ability to provide all students with an education that truly prepares them for college, careers, and active citizenship," explains David Griffith, ASCD director of public policy. "In addition, they seem at odds with the new national imperative to fully prepare students for the 21st century. The College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness Coalition will work hard to both educate policymakers about the value of a comprehensive education and preserve investments in these valuable programs."
In preparation for a House Appropriations Committee vote this July on funding for college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness programs, the coalition is distributing consensus recommendations to legislators calling on Congress to
Include all elements of a comprehensive education in any definition of college, career, and citizenship readiness.
Maintain discrete and significant funding for these disciplines to ensure that each retains federal support individually and that all receive a minimum level of resources reflecting collective support for college, career, and citizenship readiness.
Promote grant competitions within disciplines, not between them, which prioritize underserved or high-need schools and students and emphasize best practices, scalability, and cross-subject collaboration and integration.
Develop a rigorous evaluation process that includes significant input from professional educators to measure the effectiveness of the funded activities and to propose improvements in the respective grant programs.
Establish meaningful public reporting and accountability requirements regarding student achievement in each of these disciplines at the school, district, and state levels.
To learn more about the College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness Coalition and to view the entire list of members, visit www.ascd.org/cccr. To learn more about all of ASCD’s programs, products, services, and initiatives, or for membership information, visit www.ascd.org.
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