Maryland PTA has joined with National PTA and over 80 National and State organizations in support of robust funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers Grant Program.
Click HERE to read the letter sent to Chairmand Blunt and Ranking Member Murray.
National PTA Statement on Student Gender Identity Guidance
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 13, 2016) — The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:
“Today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released guidance on public schools and districts’ obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) regarding a student’s gender identity. Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. According to the guidance, this means that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from... (Click here to read the full statement.)
National PTA is pleased to join forces with the Center for American Progress (CAP), America Achieves and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), among others in support of the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure assessments are fair, reliable, relevant and aligned to high-quality standards.
The Testing Bill of Rights outlines the need to accurately measure student learning in a way that is useful for parents and teachers and less burdensome for students. As states continue to transition to higher standards and a new generation of high-quality tests come to fruition, more needs to be done at state and local levels to address over testing and provide greater transparency about the purpose and benefits of each test. No parent wants their child reduced to a test score, and assessment results should be used to inform instruction, provide parents and communities with information about whether students are working at grade level or are struggling, and allow teachers to diagnose and help their students. The launch of the Testing Bill of Rights is part of a campaign led by CAP to educate school leaders, students, teachers, and parents about the need for better, fairer and fewer tests.
National PTA understands the frustration that parents, students and educators have expressed regarding over testing. However, instead of walking away from assessments themselves, National PTA seeks to empower and engage parents in the important conversations around the amount and types of tests students take as well as advocate for parents to be at the table as these discussions occur at state and local levels. Parents are an important part of the solution to improve assessments, and we can’t walk away from this responsibility.
The association believes that in order to provide the most accurate information to parents, educators, schools, districts and states all students must participate in required state assessments. The information gathered from assessments helps to make sure all students and schools are receiving the necessary resources and supports in order to reach their full potential. Additionally, if we do not have full data sets, we won’t know if the assessments actually do what they are designed or purported to do.
National PTA has always believed that educational improvements and increased well-being for our nation’s children comes from engaged and empowered parents and families. The parent voice is critical in the discussion around educational equity. Parents must be part of the solution for fairer, better and fewer tests.
National PTA urges you to sign the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure students are taking high-quality and aligned assessments, parents have accurate information on their child’s progress and achievement and teachers have a tool that helps improve instruction.