Public education, like other public services, is a gateway to opportunity, social and economic justice, and the democratic promise of our country. We believe that all children deserve great public schools in which:
Student needs are met. Per capita funding should be greatest for high needs children and targeted to counteract the conditions of poverty that so negatively impact learning. Class size should be small enough that students can get the attention they need. Schools should become community schools, hubs for social and health support, both for students in the school as well as for their families and the surrounding community.
Students are guided by trusted, valued, experienced teachers and school leaders. Teachers should be supported, fairly compensated, and given autonomy in their own classrooms and a voice in decisions that affect them and their students. Recruiting and retaining good teachers and administrators should be a top priority.
Strong open-enrollment comprehensive neighborhood schools are the cornerstones of thriving communities because they are open to all students in the neighborhood, regardless of academic, social, and emotional needs. All neighborhood schools should be adequately supported and funded.
- Standardized testing is limited and used only for diagnostic purposes. Student progress should be assessed primarily by assessments written by classroom teachers. The vast majority of instructional time should be spent on well-rounded curricula, assessments, and experiences that prepare students for college, career, and civic engagement. Standardized testing should be used only as an infrequent, low stakes progress check.