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One Step Closer to Replacing NCLB
posted by: Guest contributor | July 10, 2015, 03:55 PM   

By Conner Dunleavy


This Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican-led overhaul of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Long overdue for reauthorization, the vote was very close (218-213) with no Democrats supporting it and 27 Republicans also voting against it.

Known as the Student Success Act, the proposal gives states and districts more control over assessing school, teacher, and student performance. It also prohibits the federal government from mandating specific sets of academic standards, like the Common Core, and allows federal money to follow low-income students to a school of their choice.

The U.S. Senate is currently considering it’s own version of a NCLB overhaul, which would need to be approved by the House as well, and vice-versa. On this version, the Associated Press has reported:

“The House passed its legislation as the Senate rejected a proposal to turn federal aid for poor students over to the states, which could then let parents choose to spend the money in the public or private school they deem best for their child. The vote was 45-52, short of a majority and 15 shy of the 60 required.”

Similar to the House’s version of the bill, the Senate’s version would shrink the scale of involvement the federal government has in public education, leaving more room for state and local governments to implement changes as they see fit. Similarly, the House and Senate versions would hold on to annual reading and math tests, however, unlike the original NCLB law, the new proposals would allow the state government to decide how to implement these, rather than the U.S. Department of Education.

AAE believes that changes must be made to give states and districts a chance at success. Based on years of direct member feedback, AAE supports an approach to reauthorization that promotes flexibility, accountability, and a focus on local control. Teachers agree that a one-size-fits-all system isn’t working. It's critical to strike an appropriate balance between demanding change and respecting the discretion of states and school districts to tailor policies to their unique needs.

What changes would you like to see in federal education policy?
Comment below.


ConnerDunleavyAs the 2015 summer intern for AAE, Conner supports the communications and marketing team in the DC AAE office. From the class of 2017, he intends to graduate from the University at Albany with a Bachelor's Degree in European History and a Minor in Education.




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