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April 1, 2007
Vol. 64
No. 7

ASCD Community in Action

A Whole Child Leader

ASCD recently presented U.S. Congressman Michael N. Castle (R-DE) with the Whole Child Leadership Award to honor his work on child nutrition, Head Start, and K–12 education. Currently the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Representative Castle authored two pieces of legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law: the Reauthorization of Child Nutrition and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In addition, he helped shape No Child Left Behind, was a key negotiator in the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, and has fought to secure funding for key education programs.
Representative Castle joins Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa as recipients of the ASCD Whole Child Leadership Award. The award was presented in conjunction with ASCD's Leadership in Effective Advocacy and Practice (LEAP) Institute.

A New Compact for the Whole Child

ASCD's Commission on the Whole Child offers a vision for education reform that embraces the multiple factors that influence children's lives and development. The Commission's new report, The Learning Compact Redefined: A Call to Action, points out that academic achievement cannot take place without significant emphasis on student health, school environment, student engagement, personalized learning, skilled and caring educators, and outcomes beyond formal schooling. The report calls on communities to support programs and policies that ensure success for all learners. ASCD believes that the report's recommendations can help close the achievement gap for poor and minority students by shining a spotlight on the issues that most affect student learning.
  • Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle. Characteristics of a healthy school environment include healthy school menus, regular recess, physical and health education, school counseling programs, and intramural programs. Schools and communities collaborate to increase access to health care for children and their families.
  • Each student learns in an environment that is physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe. Schools and communities committed to educating the whole child consistently assess comprehensive safety issues to foster effective conditions for learning.
  • Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community. Students who are engaged and connected demonstrate increased academic achievement, attendance rates, and participation in activities.
  • Each student has access to personalized learning and to qualified, caring adults. Caring relationships reinforce academic achievement as well as social, civic, ethical, and emotional development.
  • Each graduate is prepared for success in college or further study and for employment in a global environment.
Although the report is a culmination of the Commission's work, it represents the beginning of association-wide efforts to raise awareness of the whole child perspective.
To download a copy of The Learning Compact Redefined: A Call to Action, visit www.ascd.org/learningcompact

ASCD Sets Legislative Priorities

  • Promoting innovative high school redesign. Schools need to focus on five key components: multiple measures of assessment, personalized learning, increased flexibility in the use of time and structure, professional development, and business and community engagement.
  • Closing the achievement gap. To reach this goal, Congress must focus on three areas during the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind: assessment and accountability, preparation and professional development of teachers and principals, and effective interventions to support student success.
  • Fostering school readiness and early development of the whole child. ASCD supports high-quality prekindergarten education programs for all children, especially those programs that serve students who are most at risk. Early intervention is the most cost-effective approach to closing the achievement gap and developing the whole child.
To view the ASCD Legislative Agenda and become an educator advocate, visitwww.ascd.org/actioncenter. To learn more about ASCD's proposal for innovative high school redesign, visitwww.ascd.org/innovativehighschools.

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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