Locals weigh in on proposed federal education reform

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. - People came out Wednesday night to weigh in on proposed federal education reform.

About 3 dozen people were at Johnson City High School to comment on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Proposed by President Obama in 2015, ESSA oversees K-12 education in the U.S.

Since it was passed, the Department of Education has been meeting with stakeholders to create and implement a new plan to oversee K-12 standardized testing and performance.

Eight speakers discussed what they would like to see put into the plan.

Suggestions included judging a students performance on more than just standardized testing.

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says people from districts across the state need to bring their ideas to the table.

"New York State is a large district. We have the largest districts in the country and some of the smallest in the country. Working across the board to have input from everyone is critically important," she said.

Julie Dietrich is an elementary Phys Ed Teacher in Harpursville.

She spoke to advocate for more gym and health programs to be included in the curriculum.

She says a child's health is just as important as grades.

"We need to think about the whole child when it comes to education. If the student isn't healthy and they're obese and if they don't learn the basic things to keep well and be healthy and fit, then they won't continue it throughout their life," he said.

Last night's meeting was the 13th and final hearing that Commissioner Elia and Regent Susan Mittler attended.

The feedback will be considered in the ESSA final plan.


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