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PASCD Position Statements
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Please find below the three official position statements from PASCD regarding: (1) The Learning Gap, (2) High Stakes Testing and (3) The Whole Child.

The Learning Gap

Educators, policymakers, and the public must understand the grave consequences of persistent gaps in student achievement and must demand that addressing these gaps becomes a policy and funding priority. Current research indicates that factors beyond schooling impact the learning gap. For all students to excel academically and thrive as individuals, Pennsylvania must equalize educational opportunities. PASCD believes that all student populations, regardless of their economic status, ability, or geographic location, must have access to:

· Innovative, engaging, and challenging curricula that build on the strengths of each learner

· High-quality educators supported by ongoing professional development

· Necessary resources for strengthening schools, families, and communities.


High Stakes Testing

Using a single test to measure success or to sanction students, educators, schools or districts is an inappropriate use of a single instrument.  Only when students, educators, and policy makers have timely access to information from multiple assessments can they make informed judgments about student learning, student placement, graduation eligibility, and education program success.


The Whole Child

The current direction in educational practice and policy focuses overwhelmingly on academic achievement. However, academic achievement is but one element of student learning and development and only a part of any complete system of educational accountability. PASCD believes a comprehensive approach to learning recognizes that successful young people are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, motivated, civically inspired, engaged in the arts, prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond their own borders.

Together, these elements support the development of a child who is healthy, knowledgeable, motivated, and engaged. To develop the whole child requires the following contributions:

Communities provide: Family support and involvement; government, civic, and business support and resources; volunteers and advocates; support for their districts' coordinated school health councils or other collaborative structures.

Schools provide: Challenging and engaging curriculum; adequate professional development with collaborative planning time embedded within the school day; a safe, healthy, orderly, and trusting environment; high-quality teachers and administrators; a climate that supports strong relationships between adults and students; support for coordinated school health councils or other collaborative structures that are active in the school.

Teachers provide: Evidence-based assessment and instructional practices; rich content and an engaging learning climate; student and family connectedness; effective classroom management; modeling of healthy behaviors.



Adopted by PASCD’s Executive Board,
November 20, 2005