District 214 superintendent testifies before U.S. Senate panel
Northwest Suburban High School District 214 Superintendent David Schuler testified Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about the program replacing No Child Left Behind.
Schuler was in Washington representing both District 214 and superintendents nationwide in his position as president of The School Superintendents Association. He spoke to senators about implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The committee includes Sen. Mark Kirk, who introduced Schuler.
Schuler said the new law, which moves away from testing as the single measure of student success, is positive for schools and students.
"This new law holds states and school districts accountable, while still allowing significant flexibility," Schuler said in his testimony. "Now, with those constraints lifted and ESSA the law of the land, states and districts can focus once again on truly meeting the needs of every student who walks through our schoolhouse doors on a daily basis, and for that, I am truly thankful to the committee.
"Now, we have the ability to acknowledge that we all learn in different ways, our students learn in different ways, and they should be able to demonstrate readiness in different ways," he said. "Under ESSA, you have given us permission to dream and lead and transform public education in this country, and we will do just that."
Earlier this month Schuler and District 214 officials presented a new, multi-metric way to look at college and career readiness. They hope it catches on nationwide.
Schuler said implementation needs to happen while taking into account the differences between rural, suburban and urban districts and their unique student populations.
Others who testified before the committee included Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Kat Haycock, president of The Education Trust; Tony Evers, superintendent of Wisconsin Public Schools; Utah Gov. Gary Herbert; Delia Pompa, senior fellow of education policy at the Migration Policy Institute; and Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Education Association.
The 2½-hour committee hearing can be watched online at http://www.help.senate.gov.