Friday, March 19, 2010

Details from Suzanne Immerman

The Washington Post has a supportive editorial here ( and here's an email with further details from Suzanne Immerman, who works closely with Duncan at the DOE:


Dear Colleagues,


By now, you have surely heard the news and many of you have already read this Blueprint cover to cover.  But just in case, I wanted to reach out  and personally share with you the Obama Administration's plan for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), released over the weekend and discussed by President Obama in his weekly address to the nation.


You can read the blueprint at this link.  


You can watch the president discuss the blueprint at this link.


Over the course of the last year, Secretary Duncan and the Department have been involved in an extensive effort to develop a new vision for ESEA, visiting all 50 states and gathering input through town halls, school visits, roundtables with teachers and community members, forums at our headquarters, meetings with elected officials and association leaders, and countless one-on-one conversations.


Many of you and your colleagues have been a part of these conversations. We have attempted to weave together the best suggestions from stakeholders across the country with the key principles of President Obama and Secretary Duncan.


We hope this policy proposal—the Blueprint for Reform—paves the way for a smarter, more supportive federal role in K-12 education. It builds off of practices and programs that have been demonstrated to work in local schools and districts and seeks to expand upon them.


The Blueprint recognizes the work of governors and state chiefs to develop college- and career-ready standards. It aims to remedy current ESEA provisions seen as ineffective at the local level, while maintaining a strong focus on raising academic achievement for all students and closing achievement gaps that have persisted for far too long.


Our proposed accountability system seeks to better measure and reward growth and excellence, and emphasizes local control and flexibility to achieve higher goals. Of course, we will not reach those goals without great teachers and leaders, and this plan makes a huge investment in both.


We believe that this issue must – and will - rise above politics and ideology. We are encouraged by the willingness of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to begin collaborating with us to reauthorize ESEA, and we look forward to continuing to work with them on this critical effort in the coming weeks and months. 


As you know, this law affects every public school and millions of children in our country, and we want to make sure that you have all of the information that you need to help you, your colleagues and constituents remain informed and engaged.  


Best wishes,




Suzanne Immerman

Director of Philanthropic Engagement

Special Assistant to the Secretary

U.S. Department of Education

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