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Advocacy Alert: June 12

Senate Committee Passes Education Legislation, Make Sure Congress Considers Museums

This afternoon, the Senate committee with jurisdiction over education policy passed legislation overhauling the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  The proposal would allow states more flexibility in setting performance standards for students and stipulate certain factors to be included in teacher evaluations, including both student outcomes and observations from fellow educators. The legislation also includes language advanced by the Association of Science-Technology Centers, which makes sure museums are recognized as eligible partners in improving STEM education. With the House education committee planning to consider its own ESEA reauthorization next week, it is clear that education policy will be on legislators’ minds this summer and beyond.

“Museums are essential educational institutions that play a key role in developing 21st Century skills like critical thinking, self-direction, and communication,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “Members of Congress need to hear how museums are critical partners in our nation’s education system.”

Museums spend over $2 billion on education every year, the vast majority of which is at the K-12 level. Do your legislators understand the vital contributions that museums make to education? Take 1 minute to tell them now.

P.S. The Alliance’s professional network on education (EdCom) is currently gathering information about education programs in museums. This data is crucial to the success of our field’s education advocacy, so we hope you’ll participate. And remember, free membership in the professional networks is now a benefit of your Alliance Professional membership. Learn more or join today!