Principals Groups Applaud Senate Passage of ESEA Bill

AFSA NASSP NAESP logosPrincipals Groups Applaud Senate Passage of ESEA Bill

Contact: Bob Farrace, NASSP director of public affairs, 703-909-4661farraceb@nassp.org

Statement from the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP):

Our three organizations, representing the nation’s nearly 100,000 principals, applaud the Senate for its passage of the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), which includes many of our recommendations to provide principals with necessary support, training, and resources to help students and teachers achieve their greatest potential.

Numerous provisions contained in S. 1177 represent a huge step forward from current legislation: the elimination of adequate yearly progress and the 100 percent proficiency requirements, tempering the test-and-punish provisons of No Child Left Behind; the continued requirement of disaggregated subgroup data; removal of the unworkable school turnaround models required under the School Improvement Grant and Race to the Top programs; clarification of the term school leader as the principal of an elementary, middle or high school; inclusion of the use of Title II funds for a “School Leadership Residency Program”; activities to improve the recruitment, preparation, placement, support, and retention of effective principals and school leaders in high-need schools; and the allowable use of Title II funds to develop induction and mentoring programs that are designed to improve school leadership and provide opportunities for mentor principals and other educators who are experienced and effective.

However, as we previousy shared in our joint letter on the bill, certain aspects of the bill must be improved by the Conference Committee in order to fully meet the needs of school leaders and their students. Principal professional development must be a required use of Title II Funds; states are not required to base assessment and accountability systems on student growth; and the law does not urge states and districts to adopt principal evaluation systems that incorporate the six key domains of school leadership (namely, student growth and achievement; school planning and progress; school culture; stakeholder support and engagement; professional qualities and practices; and professional growth and learning).

Our organizations will be strongly encouraging principals and other school leaders to urge the conferees to adopt these much-needed improvements to the legislation. We look forward to fully endorsing a final piece of legislation that fully recognizes the crucial role that school leaders play in fostering student growth and in creating safe and supportive school environments.

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