JM Community Briefing ONE


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Aired just one week after the 2010 Congressional elections, this presentation brings community leaders, parents, and organizers up to speed on the current political landscape in Washington and how it is likely to shape the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

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JM Community Briefing ONE

  1. 1. Part One:How Does ESEA Reauthorization Affect Communities of Color?
  2. 2. Special Thanks to Our Partners: Based in Los Angeles, California Based in New Haven, Connecticut
  3. 3. Agenda1.  What Happened Last Tuesday?2.  ESEA and Race3.  The Obama Proposal4.  The Republican Model5.  What Does it All Mean?6.  Question & Answer Presenter: Jack Loveridge Policy Analyst at Justice Matters
  4. 4. 2008: A Democratic WaveCommunity Briefing Series
  5. 5. Nov. 2, 2010: The Tide Rolls BackCommunity Briefing Series
  6. 6. The Results •  Republicans gain 64 seats in House •  Senate now 53-47 in Democratic Favor •  Moderate Democrats Sent Home •  GOP House gains greater than 1994, 1974Community Briefing Series
  7. 7. An Older, Whiter ElectorateCommunity Briefing Series
  8. 8. New Leadership • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to be replaced by John Boehner (R-OH) • Pelosi will try to stay on as House minority leader •  ep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) will likely R become House majority leader Boehner, Cantor opposing Health Care legislation •  he 112th Congress will assume office T in early January 2011Community Briefing Series
  9. 9. Profile: John Boehner • Ohio Republican currently serving as House minority leader has 16 years of Congressional experience • Ranking member of House Education and Labor Committee that approved No Child Left Behind • Deep interest in education policy, though his career background is in business. • Post-election quote: “We have real work to do, and this is not a time for celebration.” Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Community Briefing Series
  10. 10. The Education Challenge •  The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the core of Federal public education policy •  Originally enacted in 1965, it must be reauthorized or revised by Congress every five years •  ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is now four years overdue for reauthorization •  Many analysts think ESEA reauthorization is coming soonCommunity Briefing Series
  11. 11. The Process Mark-Up Committee Hearings Committee Sends Bill to Full Chamber Reauthorized ESEA Good for Five Years President Vetoes or Signs into Law Floor Vote Reconcile BillsCommunity Briefing Series
  12. 12. Reauthorize What? • Signed in April 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson, the ESEA regulates K-12 public education • Title I of the Act distributes Federal funds to schools with high percentages (40% or more) of low-income students • Title III provides funding for language instruction for English-learners • Title V provides money for parent engagement programs • The law also contains provisions for teacher training, libraries, and nutritionCommunity Briefing Series
  13. 13. A Civil Rights Legacy • Coming just months after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ESEA was informed by the Civil Rights Movement • Objective to compel Southern states to desegregate schools by withholding Federal funding • All states complied ESEA would not have been possible without the Civil Rights Movement The Civil Rights movement could not have accomplished its ends without the backing of ESEACommunity Briefing Series
  14. 14. Government’s Role • Along with ESEA, the Department of Education was founded in 1965 • Before this, the Federal role in public education was virtually nonexistent • School conditions and student achievement varied widely across the country • For low-income communities of color, ESEA fought decades of racist policies Since the opening of the Department of Education (pictured), conservatives from supported by state governments George Wallace to Rand Paul have pushed for its closure as evidence of big governmentCommunity Briefing Series
  15. 15. Leaving No Child Behind • On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed the No Child Behind Act (NCLB) into law with bipartisan support from Congress • Modified and rebranded, the core of the legislation is a reauthorized version of the 1965 ESEA • Emphasis on standards, accountability, and school choice • But NCLB’s standardized tests and punitive approaches have pushed-out students of color and masked low student performanceCommunity Briefing Series
  16. 16. A Reform Frenzy• With the new administration, a broadeducation reform discussion has begun• From Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey, thenews has been packed with big namespushing a fix to NCLB• The film Waiting for Superman markeda peak in the media attention inSeptember• However, real voices coming directlyfrom communities of color have beenmissing in the public reform dialogueCommunity Briefing Series
  17. 17. A Blueprint for Reform • Released by Department of Education released a document in March 2010, the Blueprint outline Obama Administration’s plans for ESEA reauthorization Four core proposals included: 1) Emphasizing competitive grants over guaranteed formula funding 2) Broadening student assessments, but keeping standardized testing central 3) Encouraging the creation of more charter schools 4) Closing or restructuring struggling schools through “Turnaround Models”Community Briefing Series
  18. 18. Absent Community Voice • The Blueprint approached students of color as the problem in our public school systems • Focus on fixing “low-performing” rather than investigating structural problems • Lacking meaningful parent engagement programs to welcome families into schools and give them a role in school decision-makingCommunity Briefing Series
  19. 19. Focus on Competition “The countries that out-educate us today will outcompete us tomorrow.” -President Obama • Competition on all levels to promote student achievement and school improvement • Schools serving low-income communities of color at automatic disadvantage in market approach • No real emphasis on cooperation between communities, students, and educatorsCommunity Briefing Series
  20. 20. Then came the elections… House of Representatives 239 Republicans 188 Democrats 218 need to pass Senate 53 Democratic Caucus 47 Republicans 51 for pass 60 to avoid filibusterCommunity Briefing Series
  21. 21. From Miller to Kline Rep. George Miller (D-CA) • Democrat from Northern California has 35 years of Congressional experience Rep. John Kline (R-MN) • Chaired Education and Labor Committee since 2006 and in early 2000s With the new Republican majority • Headed committee that authored No comes a change in 49-member House Child Left Behind Education and Labor CommitteeCommunity Briefing Series
  22. 22. Profile: John Kline • Conservative Republican from Minnesota with eight years of Congressional experience • Career as a defense strategist and marine • Comparatively new to education •  o chairmanship experience N • Post-election quote: “There is an agreement in the Republican conference that this [health care] law is bad policy, and we need to fix it.” John Kline 2010 Campaign PhotoCommunity Briefing Series
  23. 23. The Republican Model “[R]eform that restores local control, empowers parents, lets teachers teach, and protects taxpayers.” Rep. John Kline (R-MN) November 4, 2010Community Briefing Series
  24. 24. 1. Reasserting Local Control • John Kline called the Federal role in education a “very large intrusion” • Local control is a very slippery slope • Federal government involved in education for important reasons What it means for communities of color: Reduces the role of the Federal government and allows market forces to decide educational quality Federal moves toward desegregation prompt Arkansas governor to close schools in 1957Community Briefing Series
  25. 25. 2. Empowering Parents • Thinly-veiled code for “school choice” or more charter schools and vouchers • Charters, private schools, and vouchers used as “Trojan horses” to draw resources away from the public system • Republicans rarely fund parent engagement programsWhat it means for communities of color: Choice alone is not parental engagement. The choice between a broken public school and a charter is no choice at all D.C. parents rally for school choice in summer 2009 Community Briefing Series
  26. 26. 3. Letting Teachers Teach • Sounds good, but what does it mean exactly? • It links to the local control issue • Department of Education makes the paperwork so it’s the problem • But teach what, exactly? What it means for communities of color: Reduces already modest Federal roleCommunity Briefing Series
  27. 27. 4. Protecting Taxpayers • Funding cuts to keep taxes on highest income brackets low • Conservatives uncomfortable with the Title I formula funding rules • Balancing act for the rural politicians Tea Partiers rally in Wisconsin What it means for communities of color: Historically guaranteed funding still at riskCommunity Briefing Series
  28. 28. What’s next? Three Scenarios: 1.  President, Senate, and House compromise 2.  Congress passes smaller “patch” legislation 3.  Government finds no consensus in 2011Community Briefing Series
  29. 29. What now? Back to the Drawing Board: Although the national conversation will continue, Congress will need time to regroup in early 2011. Nothing is Inevitable: Reauthorization does not have to happen a given way or even happen at all. Either way, the policy approaches from both sides will be heavily altered. Urgency Remains: The old policies of NCLB are still in place and they are still hurting communities of color. Now is the time to build an active and informed community-led discussion.Community Briefing Series
  30. 30. Question & Answer Jack Loveridge Policy Analyst Visit us online at: Justice Matters’ mission is to bring about racially just schools thatdevelop and promote education policy rooted in community vision.