The House of Representatives today approved the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). Sponsored by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN), the legislation would rewrite the nation's K-12 education law.
"For the first time in more than a decade, the House has approved legislation to revamp K-12 education law. This is a monumental step forward in the fight to improve the nation's education system and ensure a brighter future for our children," Chairman Kline said. "The Student Success Act will tear down barriers to progress and grant states and districts the freedom and flexibility they need to think bigger, innovate, and take whatever steps are necessary to raise the bar in our schools."
"No Washington bureaucrat cares more about a child than a parent does. And no one in Washington knows what is better for an Indiana school than Indiana families do. That is why the Student Success Act puts an end to the administration's National School Board by putting state and local school districts back in charge of their own schools," said Rep. Rokita. "Many Hoosiers will also be pleased to know that the Student Success Act prohibits the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core, again returning accountability and standards to state and local school districts, where it belongs."
Chairman Kline continued, "Parents, teachers, and local leaders have been invaluable in the development of the Student Success Act, and they will be invaluable in our efforts to push it across the finish line for America's students. The United States Senate should now give the country a vote on education reform and help us develop a final proposal for the president's signature. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the Capitol as we seek to meet this most fundamental responsibility."
As passed by the House, the Student Success Act will:
Eliminate AYP and replace it with state-determined accountability systems, thereby returning authority for measuring student performance to states and school districts.
Eliminate federally mandated actions and interventions currently required of poor performing schools, giving states and districts maximum flexibility to develop appropriate school improvement strategies and rewards for their schools.
Allow Title I dollars to follow disadvantaged kids, at the state option. This landmark 'portability' option promotes parental choice and allows all Title I schools to receive funds to promote the academic achievement of students in need.
Repeal federal "Highly Qualified Teacher" requirements and grant states the flexibility to develop their own teacher evaluation systems to better gauge an educator's effectiveness, if they so choose.
Maintain the requirement that states and school districts issue and distribute annual report cards, including disaggregated data on student achievement and high school graduation rates, while also streamlining data reporting to ensure meaningful information is easily available to parents and communities.
Support opportunities for parents to enroll their children in local magnet schools and charter schools, and enhance statewide parental engagement.
Eliminate more than 70 existing elementary and secondary education programs to promote a more appropriate federal role in education.
Consolidate a myriad of existing K-12 education programs into a new Local Academic Flexible Grant, which provides funding to states and school districts to support local priorities that improve student achievement.
Protect state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by limiting the authority of the secretary of education, including by eliminating the secretary's ability to inappropriately influence state decisions to adopt the Common Core or other common standards or assessments.