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February 1, 2005
Vol. 62
No. 5

ASCD Community in Action

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ASCD Calls for Changes to NCLB

In a letter to President George W. Bush, ASCD Executive Director Gene R. Carter called for expanded education change based on the whole child approach and for improvements to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
“ASCD embraces the need for high standards, improved assessment, and increased accountability for U.S. schools, especially those serving children in poverty,” said Carter, speaking for the 165,000-member nonpartisan Association. “We offer our expertise to you and your Administration as you continue to implement your education agenda for the coming four years.”
  • Place more emphasis on systemic changes that reward, nurture, and support student progress.
  • Link more directly to effective, research-based professional practice.
  • Address the whole child because student success depends on emotional and physical health, civic engagement, motivation, and preparation for work and economic self-sufficiency in addition to academic knowledge.
  • Use research-backed strategies supported by multiple indicators to make decisions related to funding, intervention strategies, and specific practices for schools.
  • Revise the testing and sanctioning requirements to reflect what research and best practice say about assessment and instruction, motivating students, and engaging the professional judgment of educators in schools and classrooms.
  • Provide sufficient resources to schools to close their achievement gaps among student demographic groups.
ASCD also calls on the Administration and Congress to create a national commission on the future of U.S. education and institute an interagency committee that includes all federal agencies involved in child and youth services.

Quick Wins for Schools

The What Works in Schools Survey, from Robert J. Marzano's What Works in Schools: Translating Research into Action (ASCD, 2003), has proven popular with educators. Currently, 31 states, 218 districts, and 2,086 schools are using the What Works in Schools product. The survey, which asks administrators and teachers to rate their school's or district's performance, looks at 68 issues that have an impact on student achievement. For each of the 68 items, respondents are asked whether their schools currently address the issue effectively and, if not, whether their schools could address the issue with a minimum of effort. Answers to these questions pinpoint the most likely areas that schools will need to address to increase student achievement.
  • Providing students with motivational training.
  • Implementing a system for early detection of students with violent or extreme behavior.
  • Implementing a student self-discipline and responsibility program.
  • Asking students to keep track of their own performance on learning goals.
  • Permitting students to design and work on long-term projects.
  • Providing training and support to parents about their parenting styles.
  • Providing training and support to parents about communicating with and supervising their children.
  • Involving students in programs to increase the number and quality of life experiences.
  • Concluding units by asking students to assess themselves on learning goals.
To take the online version of the survey, visitwww.whatworksinschools.org.
Visit the ASCD Bookstore for additional resources on What Works in Schools by Marzano.

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

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