Tammy Wawro

Tammy Wawro

The president of the state’s largest teacher union is in Florida this week for the National Education Association’s annual meeting. Iowa State Education Association president, Tammy Wawro says there is one key national issue sure to get discussion.

“I think we will have a lot of conversations about reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind,” Wawro says. “And having some discussions about what our priorities are as that comes to fruition.” She says teachers would like to see more of a dashboard approach when it comes to looking at what the act is accomplishing.

“Looking at what schools offer all students versus just a single test score to judge a school or a student’s ability to learn. So, trying to shift that focus from labeling and punishing to truly student learning and student opportunity,” Wawro says.

Wawro says it’s important to be able to provide the same opportunities to all students. “We know that one in every five children — and nearly 15 million — live in households with income below the U.S. poverty threshold. And that is a huge concern to us as we look at opportunities that all children have,” Wawro explains. “We really hope that there’s a piece of it that has to do with arts and athletic programs at the same level of mandatory opportunity for all kids as that one test score.”

The conference began Sunday and runs through July 6th.