House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) today introduced legislation to reform the nation's K-12 education system. Based on proposals advanced through the committee in the 112th Congress, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) will restore local control, support more effective teachers, reduce the federal footprint, and empower parents.
"Americans have been waiting for Washington to fix No Child Left Behind for far too long," said Chairman Kline. "Our education system faces serious challenges that cannot be addressed by a jumbled patchwork of temporary waivers and antiquated mandates. Students and families deserve a better law, one that encourages innovation and supports state and local flexibility. Moreover, they deserve the stability and confidence that comes with lasting reforms."
"The administration's efforts to bypass Congress and impose its own education agenda through executive fiat are unacceptable -- but so is continuing to leave states and school districts tied to a failing law," said Rep. Rokita. "The Student Success Act provides a new way forward. The legislation ensures state and local education leaders will have every opportunity to do what's right for our children, and prevents excessive federal intrusion in our classrooms. By getting out of their way and affording more flexibility, we believe this proposal will help parents and teachers set more children on the path to a successful future. I look forward to moving the Student Success Act through the committee and onto the House floor in the coming weeks."
Chairman Kline continued, "Over the years, the committee has explored a variety of reform proposals developed in consultation with superintendents, parents, teachers, principals, and education reformers. The Student Success Act stems from that effort. We believe this legislation represents the best of what is working in schools across the country, but we remain open to improvements suggested by members on both sides of the aisle through the legislative process. I hope the administration will support congressional efforts to move education reform proposals through the House and Senate, and provide appropriate leadership during negotiations for a final bill. Enacting a better law should be a shared goal."
The Student Success Act:
Eliminates the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) metric and replaces it with state-determined accountability systems, thereby returning authority for measuring student performance to states and school districts.
Eliminates 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.
Repeals federal "Highly Qualified Teacher" requirements and directs states and school districts to develop teacher evaluation systems that measure an educator's influence on student learning. These evaluations must be locally developed and implemented within broad parameters that factor in student achievement, incorporate multiple measures, and include feedback from all stakeholders.
Maintains 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.
Eliminates more than 70 existing elementary and secondary education programs to promote a more appropriate federal role in education.
Consolidates 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.
Supports opportunities for parents to enroll their children in local magnet schools and charter schools, and enhances statewide parental engagement.
Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by limiting the authority of the secretary of education, including eliminating the secretary's ability to inappropriately influence state decisions to adopt common standards or assessments.
For more information on the Student Success Act, or to read a bill summary or fact sheet, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/StudentSuccessAct. A summary of major changes between the Student Success Act and proposals advanced during the 112th Congress is available here.