U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) today released two pieces of draft legislation to reform current elementary and secondary education law, known as No Child Left Behind. The proposals will improve accountability, increase flexibility, and support more effective teachers in the classroom.
"The upcoming 10 year anniversary of No Child Left Behind provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing our nation's classrooms," said Chairman Kline. "There is a strong sense of urgency that the heavy-handed law must be reformed to ensure more children have access to the quality education they deserve.
"Today, I'm pleased to release draft legislation that will change the status quo and put more control into the hands of the teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents who know the needs of children best. This is not final legislation. It is a step forward in the ongoing debate on the best way to improve education in America.
"Regardless of the differences between elected leaders in Washington, education reform is an issue that will shape future generations, and we cannot afford to let the conversation stall. I look forward to gaining input from my Congressional colleagues, state and local leaders, and the American public on our ideas for recruiting more talented teachers, boosting accountability for school and student performance, and encouraging innovation and creativity in the classroom."
The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act builds on the committee's previous legislative efforts to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which has been due for reauthorization since 2007.
STUDENT SUCCESS ACT
No Child Left Behind fundamentally altered K-12 education in America by shining new light on the performance of individual schools and students. However, some areas of the law have failed to work in our nation's classrooms and must be changed. For example, the law's accountability system, known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), is a one-size-fits-all metric that restricts states' and school districts' ability to appropriately gauge student learning and tailor curriculum accordingly.
The Student Success Act offers a better way forward for education reform by:
* Returning responsibility for student achievement to states, school districts, and parents, while maintaining high expectations.
* Providing states and school districts greater flexibility to meet students' unique needs.
* Investing limited taxpayer dollars wisely.
* Strengthening programs for schools and targeted populations.
* Maintaining and strengthening long-standing protections for state and local autonomy.
ENCOURAGING INNOVATION AND EFFECTIVE TEACHERS ACT
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act currently includes more than 80 K-12 programs. Despite the tripling of overall per pupil funding and countless programs created by Congress since 1965, national academic performance has stagnated. Many federal education programs overlap and have little effect on student achievement. Other programs, created decades ago, are outdated and do not reflect current practices or priorities from the local, state, or federal level. Finally, current ESEA programs provide parents and students with few school choice options and offer states and school districts little flexibility in how they can use federal dollars to meet their unique needs.
The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act offers a better way forward for education reform by:
* Providing information to parents on teacher effectiveness.
* Increasing school choice and engaging parents in their child's education.
* Increasing state and local innovation to reform public education.
* Eliminating unnecessary and ineffective federal programs.
* Supporting Impact Aid.