K-12 Education Resolutions
We recognize the needs of special populations of students including medically emotionally physically or developmentally disabled, first language learners, gifted and students living in poverty and support programs of inclusion and enrichment.
We oppose policies and practices that discriminate on the basis of culture, class or ability and further widen the achievement and opportunity gap. Every child deserves a public education that fosters critical and holistic thought, and provides the breadth and depth of learning necessary to become an active citizen and constructive member of our society.
We support full funding of a thorough, comprehensive, and equitable education with public monies reserved for community controlled public schools.
We oppose the use of public taxpayer funds to support religious, private, corporate controlled, for-profit entities, or education management organizations.
We support public dollars in public schools with public oversight. The preservation of a free, accessible and equitable education is among our highest priorities and we are committed to protecting the public trust and ensuring the opportunity to learn for every child.
We oppose efforts to privatize neighborhood schools and any restructuring that directs taxpayer dollars towards private investors or hedge funders who seek to privately gain from public dollars.
We support comprehensive training for educators including college and university degree programs with one-year requirements in student-teaching; professionally credentialed and recognized as credible by educators and academic institutions. We oppose for-profit training programs oriented towards factory model education and the practice of placing inexperienced, ineffective or less qualified teachers and leaders in low performing, high needs schools which has served to further widen the equity gap. These alternative teacher training programs include, but are not limited to, Teach For America and RELAY.
We support the protection of teacher pensions and increasing teacher salaries commensurate with education and experience. We further support the de-coupling of test scores from teacher evaluation and compensation.
We oppose pay-for-performance, or merit based pay. Test scores most closely reflect the socio-economic-status of the student and unfairly rewards teachers in high-income neighborhoods while penalizing teachers in low-income communities resulting in re-segregation. Teacher salaries or career opportunities should not be determined on the basis of test scores, by any portion or percentage.
We support the end of high-stakes standardized testing, computer based teaching and learning and any Common Curriculum that directs scripted instruction for educators and uniformly prescribes outcomes for students.
We support the National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP as a reliable and sufficient data source. NAEP has been providing national comparisons with statistically relevant sampling of students in every state since 1969. It is a non-profit driven assessment and has been consistently verified for validity and reliability through multiple independent reviews.
Curriculum and evaluation
We support an interactive, engaging and innovative curriculum that strives for authentic teaching and learning, created by educators. We further support choices in education that are developmentally appropriate, culturally competent, learner-centered and differentiated for diverse teachers and learners.
We oppose any corporate driven, state mandated curriculum or high-stakes teacher or student measurement tool that is not research based, scientifically supported and recognized by the academic community. One-size-fits-all schooling leads to standardization and conformity and undermines the qualities required of an empowered and engaged citizenry.
We support community driven or evidence based intervention and prevention strategies for struggling students, drop-outs, and low performing schools.
We oppose turn-around policies and practices that have no proven track record of success and lead to the further marginalization of low income and minority student populations.
In light of recent breaches of student data, we can no longer ignore the urgency to advocate for students’ privacy rights and security which are vital to the integrity of education. We affirm students’ right to educational data privacy; advocate for security of student data that reflects ethical, lawful, and responsible treatment in a digital age; and support families, communities, and educators as they work to strengthen privacy, security, and safety of student data.
We oppose the monetization of student data and support legislation which prohibits student data exchanged for services, benefit, or profit in any way.
We oppose the awarding of scholarships, grants or financial aid on the basis of standardized test scores including the ACT and SAT. These tests have been demonstrated to be culturally biased. Evidenced based research has consistently determined socio-economic status to have the highest correlation to student test performance. Awarding funds on the basis of test scores unfairly penalizes low-income students and further establishes barriers to education and economic opportunity on the basis of class. Merit indicators should be determined by GPA, not test scores. Studies have proven GPA to be a better indicator of student success in college. We support changing the criteria currently used by state supported colleges and universities to allocate grant/scholarship funding. With the rising costs of college tuition, we especially have a responsibility to remove institutionalized practices that benefit economically advantaged students while discriminating against economically disadvantaged students.