|Could the New ESEA Deal Be Coming to a Close Already?|
|posted by: Alana | November 16, 2015, 06:34 PM|
The ultimate point of contention has been over how much power the secretary of education should have over regulating a state’s ability to evaluate their teachers, to turnaround failing schools, to create educational standards, and more.
Lawmakers in both parties have been vocal about their discontent with current Secretary Arne Duncan’s use of waivers and rewards to effect change at the state level by way of advocating for the administration’s favored program.
Though details regarding the bill are not yet confirmed, rumors of the new ESEA deal are said to address this issue by stripping a secretary of that power in favor of letting states call the shots to the point that has some describing it as a theoretical “straight jacket” and “astonishingly limited.”
The Department of Education would still be in charge of approving state plans for federal Title I money, but now they’d be responsible for doing so within a 90-day window and there are no provisions for so called Title I “portability” – a huge win for school choice advocates!
With this preliminary reauthorization agreement comes the addition of an early childhood education program and a cut to about 80 more programs commensurate with a cut in staff to boot! Students can still expect federal testing in grades 3 to 8 and once in high school for reading and math, and there will still be a 95% participation requirement, but it would be up to the states to determine how to use those scores when it comes to accountability and how to react to schools who don’t meet the 95% threshold.
Though the new bill doesn’t put a number on it, it is speculated that states will still have to intervene in the schools that are in the bottom 5% and those that aren’t closing the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their peers.
Multiple sources expect the bill to be on the floor of both chambers within the month and no later than early December. Details are likely to trickle out in the coming days.
Do you think these proposed changes are enough to fix the problems with the original NCLB law?