©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Congressman Visits With Local Teachers
|The Galesburg area's representative in the U.S. House met with a group of teachers and administrators to hear issues they have with federal education policies.
Much of the discussion during Saturday's roundtable with 17th District Congressman Phil Hare and the local educators centered around the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Hare says a vote to reauthorize NCLB is expected later this year, and he wants to see more flexibility added to it. The Rock Island Democrat says reforming No Child Left Behind is part of President Barack Obama's education plan.
The two issues that got the most attention were funding, or more specifically a lack of it, and the effect of No Child Left Behind on school curriculums.
One of the educators at the roundtable says NCLB is forcing teachers to teach to a test instead of teaching students. Hare agreed and says that's one aspect of the legislation he's working with other lawmakers to change.
"We cannot handcuff our teachers, from my perspective, and overload them with regulations that won't work, and then expect them to treat our kids -- come out and use this cookie-cutter approach -- that every class is going to be treated the same way," Hare said. "We need growth models, so that children can be evaluated as they progress, and not try to lump them in with everybody else."
Hare, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, says he supports the use of growth models and other indicators of student progress in addition to test scores, as well as improving the way students with disabilities are tested.
Hare also wants the federal government help cash-strapped states like Illinois that owe their school districts millions of dollars. Many districts are developing budget reduction plans that will result in significant cuts in response to the state's inability to pay.
In addition, Hare says the current Title I funding formula needs to be changed to make it more equitable so it gives rural schools a fighting chance. He also backs increasing funding for teacher mentoring and after-school programs and investing in Pre-K and the Head Start program.
(Congressman Phil Hare and Mayor Sal Garza speak at an education roundtable Hare hosted Saturday at Sandburg Mall. WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry.)
|02 27 10 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.