Congress could deliver an early holiday gift to educators before school lets out this December: A rewrite of the federal education law that established today’s testing and accountability mandates. It’s not a done deal, but House and Senate education leaders announced they have “a path forward” and hope to have the long-stalled reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act approved before Congress recesses for the year.
Nearly half the nation’s public schools failed to meet federal benchmarks this year, up from 39 percent in 2010 and marking the largest washout rate since the No Child Left Behind Law took effect a decade ago, a new national report calculates. That’s still well below the 82 percent failure rate that U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan predicted earlier this year, but the nonpartisan Center for Education Policy’s findings still indicate an alarming trend.
Flanked by students, teachers, state education leaders, aPresident Barack Obama announced a plan to let states and districts waive some of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law’s most onerous requirements. In exchange, however, states would have to adopt certain reforms — including teacher evaluations that take student test scores into account.
The Republican chairman of the House education committee outlined publicly for the first time a timetable for rewriting the sprawling No Child Left Behind school accountability law. Minnesota Rep. John Kline said he would move five bills to the House floor by year’s end. Experts say that profound partisan disagreement with the Democrat-led Senate could doom the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s reauthorization this year.