Elementary & Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) Reauthorization

In early spring, Education GRO staff (in partnership with Public Interest (PI) GRO staff) submitted recommendations for improving the "No Child Left Behind Act" on behalf of the APA. These recommendations touched nearly every title of this important federal legislation. As a follow up to the submission of APA's proposals, Education and PI GRO staff met with key House and Senate staff to discuss the recommendations and justifications in more detail.

APA's recommendations for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization are comprehensive and far-reaching. Generally, they seek to integrate what we know from psychology and psychology research to improve teaching and learning, as well as to expand opportunities for psychologists working in schools and with children and adolescents.

Drawing on the expertise of individual APA members, APA Divisions, APA's Coalition for Psychology in Schools and in Education, APA Committees and APA Task Force reports, the recommendations address such policy areas as: testing and assessment through the adoption of a growth model as a replacement for a static model for measuring student progress; improving teacher professional development by including a definition of "teaching skills"; innovations in education technology; adoption of "growth mindset" or expandable view of intelligence model in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program; facilitating parental involvement in schools; strong support for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program; strengthening character education to include social and emotional learning; and language to expand bullying prevention in schools.

While there has been no further action on the ESEA, Congressional staff has been working furiously behind the scenes to complete action on the legislation. Both the House and the Senate have shared "draft" bills with the education community and APA has seen much of our proposed language included in these draft bills. Some of our recommended changes have not been adopted yet, and Education GRO and PI GRO continue to work with the Committee staff, as well as staff from other important House and Senate offices, to advocate for the recommendations that were put forward on behalf of the Association.