AASA Weighs In On Higher Education Act Reauthorization

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On Friday, AASA weighed in on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act by responding to a draft bill issued by the Democratic Staff of the Senate HELP Committee reforming the Higher Education Act. Traditionally, AASA has not devoted much time to working on higher education issues, but provisions in this draft could pose a significant administrative and financial burden for local school districts, which prompted us to submit comments and increase our lobbying efforts. Specifically, the draft issued by Senator Harkin contains a new grant for ranking teacher colleges and leadership programs based in part on student test scores. AASA opposes using unreliable measures of student growth, such as VAM, when evaluating teachers and teacher preparation programs. Provisions of the bill would also require local school districts to collect and report new teachers’ evaluation results, which would include parent and administrator satisfaction surveys as well as teacher retention data. You can read AASA’s full comments here.

In addition, AASA submitted comments on behalf of the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services (NCPSSERS). AASA has the privilege of co-chairing the coalition and we responded to the draft separately to highlight the importance of addressing these shortages. Those comments are available here.

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