ASCD and more than 25 other major education organizations (including several whole child partners), representing a wide array of subject areas, are promoting consensus recommendations for how federal education policy can better support subject disciplines beyond reading, math, and science. The recommendations are a response to proposals that could threaten schools' and districts' ability to provide students with a comprehensive education that prepares them to graduate from high school ready for success in college, careers, and citizenship, and that narrows the definition of such readiness to only the Common Core State Standards.
The Obama administration has suggested collapsing programs that support arts, history, civics, foreign languages, geography, and economics into one initiative, requiring these subjects to compete against one another for resources. The administration has also proposed a similar consolidation that would pit programs for school counseling, physical education, and safe and drug-free schools against one another; while recent congressional decisions have aimed to reduce or defund many of these important programs.
To ensure that each student is prepared with the knowledge and skills required for success after high school graduation, ASCD and its partner organizations call on Congress to include all elements of a comprehensive education in any definition of college, career, and citizenship readiness. The groups also call on lawmakers to maintain discrete and significant funding for disciplines beyond reading, math, and science and to promote grant competitions within the disciplines, not between them.