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Action Alerts Archive

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Please Let Your Members of Congress Know

Call your legislators.  Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give your zip code, and the operator will connect you to your legislator’s office (you will need to repeat this to contact all three of your legislators).  Please leave the message above.  You can do this 24 hours a day and leave a voice mail if necessary.   

Ask your Senators and Representative

to support the most crucial element in effective literacy instruction:  time for structured collaboration for educators to implement the comprehensive literacy learning included in LEARN, Striving Readers, and the Common Core State Standards.

and

to not support assessment practices that rely wholly or in part on machine scoring of writing for high stakes outcomes because machine scoring cannot validly assess student writing.

 

Tweet your legislators.  Go to Tweet Congress.  Enter your information to see the list of names of your congressional delegation who are on Twitter. Go to Twitter, log in, and tweet to the policymakers; be sure to include your city and state so they know you are a constituent. 

Sample tweets: 
@SenatorDurbin, From Urbana, IL: Teachers need school time to collaborate  http://bit.ly/Z0D44v
@ RodneyDavis, From Urbana, IL: Machines can’t validly assess student writing http://bit.ly/17jqDkd

 

Educating legislative staff and members of Congress is important work
and you can make a difference!

The message you send from home will resonate with legislators when NCTE Literacy Education Advocacy Day participants visit their offices on the Hill on April 18.  

posted 4/16/13 

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Help Make a Difference in Education Policy This Week

Let your Members of Congress know your support of important issues that affect education, pre-K-higher ed. Take action now through April 20, 2012, on the following issues, right from your own computer or phone:

  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Formative Assessment
  • Humanities
  • Pell Grants & Stafford Loans
  • Comprehensive Literacy Learning

 

Ask Your Members of Congress to Support Teacher Evaluation
Based on Multiple Factors

Please take time to ask your Senators and Representative to support teacher evaluation based on multiple factors and not just students’ standardized test scores. Research shows that effective evaluation connects teacher learning and professional development as well as student achievement; indicates that evaluators need to know about school context; and suggests that value-added measures lack validity.

To call: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give your zip code and the operator will connect you to your legislator’s office (you will need to repeat this to contact all three of your legislators). Please leave the message above. You can do this 24 hours a day and leave a voice mail if necessary.

To write in support of this issue: Use this letter template.

  • Please take a few minutes to edit the letter in the template after paragraph three to add a brief personal example demonstrating the importance of evaluating teachers by multiple factors.
  • For your information, the NCTE Legislative Platform calls upon policymakers at all levels to fund teacher evaluation systems that move beyond student test scores by basing evaluation on clearly defined standards of professional practice measured by the following:
    • Documentation of ongoing learning and collaboration that supports the learning of all students (up-to-date content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge).
    • Classroom observation (of higher-order learning; differentiated instruction; student engagement; teacher interaction with students; student interaction with one another; instructional methods, tools, and technologies).
    • Student products and performances.
    • A variety of appropriate assessments.
    • Teacher reflections, portfolios, and goal achievements.
    • Student feedback.

Ask Your Members of Congress to Support
Formative Assessments to Measure Student Progress

Please take time to ask your Senators and Representative to support formative assessments to measure student progress. Formative assessments contribute to teachers’ knowledge of student learning, students’ awareness of their own progress, and teachers’ and students’ knowledge of what to maintain or change to foster learning. Formative assessments used as multiple ways of reading student progress, done over time and incorporated into the learning process are essential in order to paint an accurate picture of what students know and are able to do.

To call: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give your zip code and the operator will connect you to your legislator’s office (you will need to repeat this to contact all three of your legislators). Please leave the message above. You can do this 24 hours a day and leave a voice mail if necessary.

To write in support of this issue: Use this letter template.

  • Please take a few minutes to edit the letter in the template after paragraph two to add a brief personal example demonstrating the importance of evaluating teachers by multiple factors.
  • NCTE is a partner in the Connected Learning Coalition which created this position statement.
  • For your information, the NCTE Legislative Platform calls upon policymakers at all levels to support equitable, fair, and valid assessments that advance, not merely measure, student learning by:
    • Reforming accountability guidelines so that the consequences of high-stakes tests do not increase inequities in our education system, narrow the curriculum, or drive instructional planning and decision making.
    • Enacting measures that support teachers and teaching teams in developing formative, performance-based assessments designed to engage students in their own learning and to inform instruction.
    • Funding professional learning and providing time to analyze results of assessments for the purpose of improving student learning.

Ask Your Members of Congress to Support Funding
for the Humanities

Please take time to ask your Senators and Representative to support no less than $154.3 million in FY2013 funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). NCTE makes this funding request in the company of 107 other organizations that constitute the National Humanities Alliance because NCTE supports humanities education to ensure that we are preparing students not only to make a living, but to live a well-rounded life. NCTE calls for a higher education system that sustains and increases student literacy and advances preparation of students for participation in society as productive citizens.

To call: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give your zip code and the operator will connect you to your legislator’s office (you will need to repeat this to contact all three of your legislators). Please leave the message above. You can do this 24 hours a day and leave a voice mail if necessary.

To write in support of this issue: Use this letter template.

  • Please take a few minutes to edit the letter in the template after paragraph four to add a brief personal example of the importance of humanities education in your institution and with your students.
  • For your information, the NCTE Executive Committee recently passed two motions recognizing the importance of the humanities.
    • They passed as motion charging the Council to launch a campaign to heighten public perceptions of the crucial role of the humanities in education and
    • They passed NCTE’s 2012 Legislative Platform which features this plank: Invest in a higher education system that sustains and increases student literacy and advances preparation for participation in society as productive citizens by: … Supporting humanities education to ensure that we are preparing students not only to make a living, but to live a well-rounded life.

Ask Your Members of Congress to Support Funding
for Pell Grants & Stafford Loans!

Please take time to ask your Senators and Representative to support FY 2013 appropriations for the proposed maximum grant level of $5,645 per year under the Pell Grants Program to provide low-income students access to higher education and to maintain interest rates of 3.4 percent for Stafford Loans. The current educational environment stresses the importance of standards and assessments that prepare students to be college-ready. However, preparing students to be college-ready means little if they cannot afford to attend.

To call: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give your zip code and the operator will connect you to your legislator’s office (you will need to repeat this to contact all three of your legislators). Please leave the message above. You can do this 24 hours a day and leave a voice mail if necessary.

To write in support of this issue: Use this letter template.

  • Please take a few minutes to edit the letter in the template after paragraph six to add a brief personal example demonstrating the importance of supporting all students with adequate funding for a college education.
  • For your information, the NCTE Legislative Platform calls upon policymakers at all levels to invest in a higher education system that sustains and increases student literacy and advances preparation for participation in society as productive citizens. The platform suggests they do this by supporting students with adequate funding, including the reduction of educational costs that they bear in the form of loans including Pell Grants and Stafford Loans.

Ask Your Members of Congress to Support
Comprehensive Literacy Learning

Please take time to ask your Senators and Representative to support a comprehensive approach to literacy learning by appropriating money in FY13 for continuation of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program, the first federal program to support a comprehensive, aligned approach to literacy learning AND by assuring that the LEARN elements addressing literacy learning of all students be central in the reauthorization of ESEA.

To call: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give your zip code and the operator will connect you to your legislator’s office (you will need to repeat this to contact all three of your legislators). Please leave the message above. You can do this 24 hours a day and leave a voice mail if necessary.

To write in support of this issue: Use this letter template.

  • Please take a few minutes to edit the letter in the template after paragraph two to add a brief personal example demonstrating the importance of evaluating teachers by multiple factors.

For your information, the NCTE Legislative Platform calls upon policymakers at all levels to

Support a comprehensive, cross-curricular literacy policy that:

  • Requires a sustained investment in literacy learning and instruction from birth through grade 12, including provision of wrap-around services such as expanded access to school libraries, books, and other support services.
  • Supports the implementation of state literacy plans as described in the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program and the LEARN Act.
  • Implements a comprehensive, cross-curricular literacy plan through ongoing, job-embedded professional development situated in communities of practice throughout all stages of teachers' careers.
  • Demonstrates the interdependent and reciprocal relationship of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and digital literacy practices.
  • Creates equitable learning environments rich in a variety of complex texts, media, and technologies.
  • Requires developmentally and contextually appropriate instruction that meaningfully engages students.
  • Supports systematic, comprehensive literacy instruction informed by cross-curricular and cross-grade-level teacher teams.
  • Empowers teachers to generate and adapt formative assessments to fit diverse instructional needs.
  • Encourages literacy learning opportunities after school and at home.

4/2012

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Ask Your Senator to Cosponsor S. 929, the LEARN Act

Senator Patty Murray (WA) has reintroduced the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN; S. 929) Act along with cosponsors Mark Begich (AK), Sherrod Brown (OH), AL Franken (MN), Jack Reed (RI), and Bernie Sanders (VT) . This legislation is a comprehensive, pre- K through grade 12 bill that features writing and reading and offers alignment from early childhood across all grade levels and across all subject areas with support for state literacy plans and money to districts for their self-defined needs.

Please take a moment to write your Senators asking them to cosponsor this important legislation

See the Senate version of the legislation, S. 929.

Read NCTE’s summary of the legislation.

5/2011

 

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NCTE's Action Alerts ask members to contact policymakers to request their support for legislation affecting literacy education.

Use Your Voice and Classroom Stories to Inform
and Educate Congress in the Days Leading Up
to NCTE's Literacy Education Advocacy Day

Please Contact Your Senators and Representative Now!

Please join with attendees at NCTE’s Literacy Education Advocacy Day on April 28 in sending a message to Congress on behalf of learners and teachers across grade levels and in all content areas.

  • Ask your members of Congress to include a full definition of effective, professional teachers in the reauthorization of ESEA.
  • Ask your members of Congress to ensure that the reauthorized ESEA includes a comprehensive approach to literacy teaching and learning.

In addition to sending email messages, call or send a Tweet:

  • Call your legislators. Find their office phone numbers at Congress.org after you enter your 9-digit zip code.

Share this message with them:
As a literacy educator, I ask you to ensure that the reauthorized ESEA includes two elements: a comprehensive approach to literacy teaching and learning and a full definition of effective, professional teachers.

  • Tweet your legislators. Go to Tweet Congress. Scroll down and enter your zip code on the left. View the list of names of your congressional delegation who are on Twitter. Go to Twitter, log in, and tweet to the policymakers; be sure to include your city and state so they know you are a constituent.

Sample tweet:
@markkirk, from Urbana, IL: Include comprehensive literacy and a full definition of teacher effectiveness in ESEA: http://tiny.cc/o6u15

4/22/2011

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Declaring October 20, 2009, the National Day on Writing!

Now is the time to ask your Representative in the House to support
House Resolution 524, the resolution declaring October 20, 2009,
as the National Day on Writing!

The Resolution  for a National Day on Writing has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) and by its 27 cosponsors. House Resolution 524 (H.Res.524) has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor for review.

NCTE is eager for the Resolution to get to the floor for a vote. You can have a part in that move by writing to your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives to ask her or him to become a cosponsor for the bill.

      • Go directly to the letter, edit, and send.
        or
      • Learn more about the National Day on Writing, then write your letter.

As of June 26, the following Representatives have signed on as original cosponsors of the resolution:

Alaska:  Don Young
Arizona:  Raul Grijalva
California:  Barbara Lee, Lois Capps
Florida:  Alan Grayson
Georgia:  Sanford Bishop, John Lewis
Hawaii:  Mazie Hirono
Kansas:  Dennis Moore
Kentucky:  John Yarmuth
Maryland:  Donna Edwards
Massachusetts:  James McGowan
Michigan:  Vernon Ehlers, Thad McCotter
Nevada:  Shelley Berkley
New Jersey:  Bill Pascrell
New York:  Carolyn McCarthy
North Carolina:  David Price
Ohio:  Steven LaTourette
Pennsylvania:  Chaka Fattah, Joseph Pitts, Todd Platts, Joe Sestak
Rhode Island:  Patrick Kennedy
Texas:  Michael Burgess, Ciro Rodriguez, Ruben Hinojosa
Wyoming:  Cynthia Lummis

 10/2009

 

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