These priorities reflect PASCD’s aspirations for public education. These Advocacy Priorities, in conjunction with the PASCD Strategic Plan, serve to guide the Executive Board, regions, committees, and PASCD staff in carrying out the work of PASCD.
PASCD believes that all student populations, regardless of their socio-economic status, ability, or geographic location, must have access to:
In order to provide this access, educators, policymakers, and the public must understand the consequences of persistent gaps in student achievement and must demand that addressing these gaps becomes a policy and funding priority.
Using a single test to measure success or to sanction students, educators, schools, or districts is an inappropriate use of assessments. Only with timely access to information from multiple measures can students, educators, and policymakers make informed judgments about student learning, student placement, graduation eligibility, and education program success.
All stakeholders investing in the educational system of Pennsylvania benefit when every classroom maintains a highly qualified certificated teacher. Research continues to support that students taught by a highly qualified certificated teacher have a greater likelihood of achieving as learners. The best means of ensuring a qualified teacher workforce is to continue funding teacher preparation programs, to invest in K-12 and post-secondary education partnerships for stronger recruitment and ongoing training, and to remove any barriers negating the value of being a teacher. We believe that investing in highly qualified teachers is the best investment we can make in the future of our children and our state.
We believe academic achievement is but one element of student learning and development and only a part of any complete system of educational accountability. Pennsylvania ASCD 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:
Violent acts, intruders, and weapons in school threaten the safety of students and school personnel, who have a right to a safe school environment. School and public officials should take steps to protect all school personnel and students from violence. Schools should develop plans for improving school safety, teach staff members how to work with students who have mental health needs and how to deal with violent behavior, as well as arrange for the exchange of relevant information with community agencies. Violence reduction efforts will be most successful if they involve families, citizens, and community agencies. The primary role of educators is teaching and learning while developing positive, trusting relationships with students; using engaging teaching strategies; and teaching students how to resolve conflicts peacefully.
Adopted by PASCD’s General Membership,
November 20, 2023