U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved legislation Tuesday night that would reduce the federal role in education by dramatically revising the No Child Left Behind education law.
Among the key provisions in this legislation are the elimination of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements and the repeal of burdensome federal teacher regulations known as "Highly Qualified Teacher" guidelines.
The two new bills approved by the committee, the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990), together represent a new way forward in K-12 education reform. They reflect sentiments voiced by educators from across the nation in committee hearings held over the past year.
The implementation of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements proved that a one-size-fits-all accountability system restricts states' and school districts' ability to appropriately gauge student learning and teacher effectiveness. In 2011, about half of the nation's public schools failed to make AYP. Additionally, No Child Left Behind's 80-plus federal programs impose tremendous paperwork and regulatory burdens on states and school districts while limiting success in improving student achievement.
"No Child Left Behind unfairly labeled schools in my district as "failing,' when in reality it is the law that is failing our students. While the law looked good on paper, it created a maze of paperwork and overregulation. I am proud to support these historic bills which advance education reform. Educators know what works in their classrooms better than Washington bureaucrats," Rep. Barletta said.
Both bills are designed to reduce federal overreach in schools, provide state and local leaders much-needed flexibility, promote parental involvement and input in the educational process, and help get better teachers into classrooms.
"Our schools need to be flexible in determining the best strategies to educate future generations. No Child Left Behind created a punitive system that forces teachers and districts to use nationally mandated instructional templates. But teachers and administrators tell me they need more flexibility to devise and implement educational strategies that reach the students in their classrooms. The reality is that No Child Left Behind is failing an entire generation of students because it does not let teachers and administrators create educational programs that will work for their students in their areas," Rep. Barletta said.