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Hearing of the Early Childhood, Elementary, And Secondary Education of the House Education and The Workforce Committee - "Education Reforms: Ensuring the Education System is Accountable to Parents and Communities"

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Below are the prepared remarks of U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the ranking member of the Subcommittee On Early Childhood, Elementary, And Secondary Education of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for the hearing on "Education Reforms: Ensuring the Education System is Accountable to Parents and Communities"

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Thank you Mr. Chairman for calling this subcommittee hearing. I was impressed by the quality of our discussion on accountability issues in the Full Committee last week and look forward to an in-depth discussion today.

I am pleased to welcome the witnesses to this hearing. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to provide us with guidance on how we can improve student achievement and strengthen accountability.

The No Child Left Behind Act called for the disaggregation of data for low income students, minorities, students with disabilities and English language learners and shed light on the inequalities in our education system. Prior to the law, achievement among these students was masked or hidden by the system. The call for information and accountability was the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the one-size fits all approach of current law did not do enough to close the achievement gap. We need to give states the support and flexibility they need, while still ensuring equal opportunity for diverse student groups.

I hope we can adopt an approach that rewards growth and progress so we can better focus our resources on the districts and schools that need help moving students forward.

What level of direction might come from the federal government to create coherence in the system, maintain accountability, and increase student achievement? I fundamentally believe that education is a local function, a state responsibility, and finally a federal concern.

Increasing equity in education is crucial for our nation's economic success. Our future global competitiveness rests on the education of our students and ensuring that all of our nation's students graduate ready to compete. I look forward to the testimony today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.


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