National Urban League Policy on Education

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Empowerment Goal: Education- Every American Child is Ready for College, Work and Life

The National Urban League believes that educational opportunity and economic empowerment are inextricably linked. A child that receives an excellent education is better prepared to attend college, enter the workforce and contribute to society. Our vision, to Ensure every American child is prepared for college, work, and life, guides our work in education policy.

The National Urban League’s education policy priorities were released in our 8 Point Plan: Educate, Employ and Empower. Our work focuses on these areas.

  1. Fair and Equitable School Funding for All
    NUL believes that our nation’s schools should be equitably funded.

Sequestration and Education
This brief outlines the impact sequestration cuts have had on education programs thus far. (Updated May 2013)

  1. Robust Early Childhood Education for Each Child
    NUL believes all children should have access to high quality early learning opportunities.
  1. Strengthen High Schools and Re-engage Students to Prevent Dropouts
    NUL believes that high school and college completion rates must significantly improve, especially for students of color.
  1. Robust STEM-focused Curriculum and Programs
    NUL believes all children should have exposure to a strong science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, which includes hands-on activities outside of the classroom.

Preparing Minorities for Jobs of the 21st Century
Read the NUL fact sheet on the Project Ready STEM Act (H.R. 4366), legislation designed to expand high-quality STEM programs for minority students.

Access and Use of Science and Technology in the Classroom
Read the NUL fact sheet on broadband and technology policy, ensuring academic success through STEM preparedness.

  1. Qualified, Effective and Diverse Teachers
    NUL believes that all children should have access to qualified, effective and diverse teachers.

Teachers Matter: Ensuring Qualified, Effective and Diverse Teachers in Every Classroom
A short brief outlining our policy positions on the hiring, evaluation of and financial incentives for teachers.

  1. Strategic Workforce Development: Targeting Most in Need
    NUL believes that current workforce development programs, including the Workforce Investment Act need to be re-imagined to support workers in today’s economy.
  1. New Job Training Models Coupled with Job Placement
    NUL believes that job training and job placement programs should be aligned to match the needs of employers.
  1. Improving and Integrating Current Data Systems
    NUL believes that K-12 education data systems should be integrated connected with early childhood education, higher education, and workforce data systems to provide accurate feedback systems to students, families and policymakers.

Fact Sheets and Other Resources

With Equity and Excellence For All: An ESEA for the 21st Century  
           Read the NUL Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Principles

ESEA Waivers

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waivers: Changing Accountability, Changing Education
The U.S. Department of Education has approved ESEA waivers for many states allowing for flexibility from the 2001 No Child Left Behind law. Read the NUL fact sheet to learn more about the ESEA waiver process and key terms. (Updated April 2013)

Common Core State Standards

Common Standards, Stronger Schools: What are the Common Core State Standards and How Will They Change American Education?
Read the NUL fact sheet to learn more about Common Core State Standards and how they will influence education.

The Common Core Testing Consortia: A Comparison
Two state-led assessment consortia, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are developing tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This document provides a brief overview of how these assessments will be organized and how they differ from one another. (Updated February 2013)

The Equity Test for Common Core Assessments
The Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments offer an opportunity to prepare each high school graduate for higher education or a career. However, in order for this vision to be met, the standards and assessments must be implemented equitably. This brief provides a brief overview of equity concerns and questions for community advocates to ask to ensure the fair implementation of Common Core Assessments.

Dowloadable Documents: 

Recent Policies

May 23 2018 Urban League Troubled by Vitter's Refusal to Endorse the Precepts of Brown v. Board of Education Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:   I write because I am extremely troubled and shocked by Wendy Vitter's refusal to endorse the precepts and holding of the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education.  
Mar 22 2018 150 Organizations Band Together in Support of 2014 School Discipline Guidance Dear Secretary DeVos,  
Mar 13 2018 51 Groups Unite to Express Concern About HR 4909, the STOP School Violence Act Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi, The 51 undersigned organizations write to express our concerns about H.R. 4909, the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, introduced on January 30, 2018.  
Mar 13 2018 Urban League Opposes Nomination of Thomas Farr as U.S. District Judge for Eastern District of North Carolina Dear Senator:   On behalf of the National Urban League and its 90 local affiliates in urban communities across 37 states, including North Carolina, and the District of Columbia, I write to express our strong opposition to the nomination of Thomas Farr as United States District Judge for the Eastern... Read
Mar 12 2018 Urban League Against So-Called "STOP School Violence Act" Dear Speaker Ryan and Democratic Leader Pelosi:   On behalf of the National Urban League and its 90 local affiliates in urban communities across 37 states and the District of Columbia, we urge you to oppose H.R.4909, the STOP School Violence Act. We are concerned that the anonymous reporting and... Read