My name is Christopher Nelson from Mary McLeod Bethune and I think our federal education policy (FEP) is stunting students growth. Do you have someone you care about: a friend, a family member that you want the best for, like I want the best for my autistic brother? I found previous education policies such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1960’s to 2000) which then changed to the No Child Left Behind Act, which was finally replaced by ESSA or the Every Student Succeeds Act on December 10, 2015. However, ESSA does not do anything about children with problems at home and only cares about test scores as a way for students to show progress (US News). This is why ESSA needs to be updated, so that students can show their progress in different ways.

All over the country, there are 7 million students who receive special education services in school but they have yet to set universal standards (National Center for Education Statistics). It is insane that this has not changed. The standards are determined by the states which means the treatment for people around the country is different. ESSA can point out financial differences in students but doesn’t have a way to fix it knowing that less fortunate children have higher chances of failing and just watches them struggle says Low income and special education students can fall behind and not reach their full potential; this means they could have jobs in the future that don’t pay enough to support their family. This needs to stop because then their kids can go through this same cycle.

ESSA believes that because your school does not make progress on standardized test, your school is considered a failing school and is not adequate for your students. Every school year, it feels like we spend all day focusing on preparing for these tests. It is draining and means students spend less time doing physical activity and character-building exercises. Lawmakers have yet to experience the pressure students feel that can make or break them. ESSA believes that the only way students can show progress is with testing. Stop and think about that – you would think that would be impossible and unlawful. We all know that we would not wish this on our enemies, so why would we let this happen to our friends and family.

Do you believe that ESSA is enough for our friends and family? I say no. Help me raise awareness about this problem by telling friends, coworkers and visit the National Center for Learning Disabilities to learn more. I want a better education and future for my brother; let’s start an education revolution!

Christopher Nelson MM Bethune Grade 7
Written By:

Chris Nelson

Grade 7

Mary McLeod Bethune PCS