WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) applauds Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander for taking the first step to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by releasing a discussion draft that includes encouraging elements for supporting next generation accountability systems. We are pleased to see this draft maintain a core principle of annual, transparent, disaggregated student achievement data, and establish the option to implement competency-based systems of assessments.
Reauthorization of ESEA should be the top priority of lawmakers in the 114th Congress. Students and educators are being held back by a 14-year old law that expired 7 years ago – which contains constraints and barriers – inhibiting the transformation of the K-12 education system to student-centered learning. Across the country, schools, districts and states are embracing competency education as an approach to teaching and learning to maximize success for every child and close learning gaps for each student through personalized learning pathways.
This draft is a needed starting point for a national debate on the future of education. A key challenge for Congress will be ensuring that a reauthorization of ESEA increases equity in our K-12 education system while rethinking how assessments and accountability systems are structured. iNACOL looks forward to working with Chairman Alexander and HELP Committee Ranking Member Senator Patty Murray on an ESEA reauthorization that begins a transformation of our education system to student centered learning.
"Our current accountability system masks the true achievement gaps, focusing on a subset of students who are close to making proficiency on fill-in-the-bubble tests," said Maria Worthen, iNACOL's Vice President for Federal and State Policy. "We need a new accountability system that focuses on high expectations for every student to achieve mastery of academic standards, encouraging constant growth with rigorous supports and interventions."
Today, iNACOL is pleased to join KnowledgeWorks to release recommendations for ESEA reauthorization that can support the growth of competency education in the K-12 education system:
- Pilot Competency-Based Accountability and Systems of Assessments in up to Five States
- Support Systems of Assessments That Align to Competency-Based Approaches
- Include System of Supports and Interventions in State Title I Plans
- Support Learning Infrastructure to Enable Competency Education
- Support Educators and Leaders to Build Capacity for Competency Education
The full recommendations can be found at http://bit.ly/esearecommendations.
For more information, please contact Maria Worthen, iNACOL's Vice President for Federal & State Policy, at [email protected] or (703) 752-6216.
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focused on research; developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access; developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education; and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, district and state leaders for new learning models.