Moran Introduces Legislation to Ease the Burdens of No Child Left Behind
Congressman Jerry Moran today introduced legislation to ease the unrealistic burdens of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The Practicality in Education Act will utilize common sense ideas to make NCLB more realistic and effective. Congress is set to examine NCLB and potentially reauthorize it this year.
"Unfortunately, the job satisfaction that brought so many teachers into the profession seems to have left the classroom due to the burdens of No Child Left Behind," Moran said. "We need to strive for improvements in our education system, but we must make sure we do not overregulate the classroom. We must not take the joy and passion out of this noble profession by requiring things that are simply not possible. This legislation takes a common sense approach to make this federal program more realistic and manageable."
In 2001, Moran voted against No Child Left Behind for fear it would place unnecessary restrictions on Kansas schools and increase costs to Kansas taxpayers without a corresponding improvement in the quality of education children receive. Since its passage, he has had numerous discussions with students, teachers, administrators, state officials and Department of Education officials to determine what measures are needed to fix some of the unintended consequences.
"It is important the No Child Left Behind legislation be updated to make it more equitable and fair for all children and to reduce the paper shuffling for our teachers and administration," said Dale Dennis, Kansas Interim Commissioner of Education.
The Practicality in Education Act places special emphasis on individual student progress and gives a more accurate picture of improvements and problem areas. It also allows schools identified as failing one additional year to improve before being labeled a failing school. The legislation also provides states with the flexibility to consider special education and rural teachers who teach multiple academic subjects as "highly-qualified" in all subject areas if they meet certain requirements. This is particularly important in rural Kansas, where flexibility is needed in hiring school professionals who often teach several subjects and find it difficult to become certified in all areas. Finally, this legislation includes special considerations for English-limited speaking and special education students.