PASCD has adopted five official position statements regarding:
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:
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.
School efforts should help match individual learner strengths and needs with appropriate pedagogy and resources to increase student achievement. Efforts to personalize learning should align with each learner's identity and sense of belonging.
Schools should provide personalized professional development for both preservice and continuing educators. Responsibly should be shared among school systems, institutions of higher education, and the professionals themselves.
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:
Communities provide: Family support and involvement; government, civic, and business support and resources; volunteers and advocates; support for their districts' student services and supports and other collaborative structures.
Schools provide: Challenging and engaging curriculum; personalized professional development with collaborative planning time embedded within the school day; opportunities for strengthening and developing leadership capacity; 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 student services 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.
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 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 Executive Board,
November 18, 2018