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2012-3

Resolution on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education

REPRESENTATIVE BRENDA LÓPEZ DE ARRARÁS (PR) INTRODUCED AUG. 2012 MEETING (RATIFIED)

WHEREAS the future economic competitiveness of the United States will depend in great part on the educational attainment of the nation’s growing Hispanic community; and

WHEREAS a study by the University of California Berkley released in 2011 shows that the share of Latino four year-olds attending preschool fell nationwide, from 53 percent to 48 percent between 2005 and 2009; and

WHEREAS in 2009, almost 70 percent of white 4-year-olds were enrolled in pre-school program, while the enrollment of Latino children in early education programs has been below 50 percent; and

WHEREAS the share of African American four year-olds attending preschool equaled that of whites for the first time in 2005, with no sign of weakening; and

WHEREAS the various proposals before Congress, however, fail to reauthorize ESEA in manner to help Latinos and English Language Learners (ELLs); and

WHEREAS re-authorization of ESEA should reaffirm the long-standing federal role in ensuring that minority students, low-income students, ELLs, and students with disabilities have access to a robust and well-rounded curriculum; well supported and prepared educators; safe environments that are conducive to learning; and support that address a range of student needs so that they are better prepared to succeed in the classroom.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NHCSL will advocate on behalf of the following principles on early childhood education:

We must work towards the goal of universal pre-school that meets national standards;
Support the existing model of Head Start, and oppose dismantlement of the program;
Require that migrant and seasonal Head Start provides after school and daytime (in the summer) activities for children to prevent them from being pulled into farm labor;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL will advocate for the following principles on elementary and secondary education:

Ensure that federal accountability applies to (1) the lowest performing schools in the state (i.e., bottom quartile); (2) all “dropout” factories (high schools with a promoting power of less than 60 percent) and feeder schools, where applicable; and (3) all schools with substantial or persistent achievement gaps or barriers to learning for one or more subgroups;
Ensure that ELLs are measured by objective progress targets as to both content and language;
Ensure all students have access to college and career ready curriculums and objective student progress is measured by multiple measures;
Ensure that ELLs have access to diagnostic and summative assessments, benchmarked to college- and career-ready standards, which measure an ELL’s baseline proficiency upon entering a district and eventual progress in listening, speaking, reading, and writing English;
Require all 50 states to collect and make available disaggregated data;
Pilot test the feasibility for a state and LEAs to collect and report subgroup data within the larger ELL category;
Pilot test the feasibility of cross-tabulation of ELL data (e.g., ELLs with special education needs and “migratory” ELLs);
Discontinue high states testing;
Ensure equitable representation for Latino and ELL advocates on the U.S. Department of Education’s peer review panels that examine states’ flexibility application, and ensure that applications do not diminish accountability for ELLs and students of color or mask the data;
Fully fund all Hispanic-serving ESEA programs, especially Title I, Part A; Title III Language Acquisition State Grants; William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Programs; and Title I, Part C, Migrant Education Program.
Grow the calendar year for K-12 students by extending the school year so that there are more days for instructions.
Encourage LEAs to work with Latino community-based organizations to deliver wrap-around services that keep students in school and on track to graduating with college and career ready skills.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL staff collaborate with education associations, including the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, to further define these views and advocate for their adoption; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED a copy of this Resolution will be transmitted to the leadership of the Committees of jurisdiction in Congress, the Department of Education, White House, and organizations that advocate similar views.

THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON AUGUST 25, 2012, AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA AND RATIFIED AT THE NHCSL 2012 ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO ON NOVEMBER 17, 2012.

Sponsored by: Representative Brenda López de Arrarás (PR)