Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, introduced a pair of bills that would dramatically change the role of the federal government in K–12 education. The two newest components of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) would dismantle the federal accountability pillars laced within the decade-old No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
At a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing in February on college affordability, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Martha Kanter, discussed the president’s plan to cut the cost of higher education. Tensions were high as the senators questioned Kanter on the proposals unveiled during this year’s State of the Union address.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee recently released two pieces of draft legislation designed to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act were written in an effort to reduce the Federal Government’s role in education by returning authority to the states.
Teachers make a huge impact on their students. Now a multi-decade study suggests that teachers who raise their students’ standardized test scores have a lasting positive effect on their students’ lives well beyond the classroom. A new study by Harvard professors Raj Chetty and John Friedman and Columbia professor Jonah Rockoff found evidence that those students whose teachers were considered highly effective in grade school have greater college matriculation and adult earnings.
No Child Left Behind turned 10 this week, and former President George W. Bush, who led the effort to enact the landmark federal education law, marked the anniversary with an exclusive interview with TIME education columnist Andrew J. Rotherham. Bush discussed the law and its legacy, criticized both parties for trying to walk away from its hard-nosed accountability efforts and called on President Obama to resist “the temptation to take the easy path.”
Congress has finally wrapped up the FY2012 budget bill – the House passed a $915 billion FY12 spending bill this past Friday, and the Senate followed suit on Saturday. The consolidated appropriations bill is the result of an agreement between House Republicans and Senate Democrats and funds the government through September 30, 2012.
In submitting a request for a NCLB waiver, a state educational agency (SEA) must “meaningfully engage and solicit input from diverse stakeholders and communities in the development of its request.” The application specifically says that “business organizations” are among these stakeholders. In further guidance to states, the department noted that “ideally, an SEA will solicit input from stakeholders … and will strengthen its request by revising it based on this input.”
Considerable discussion in the education press has taken place regarding waivers—and for good reason. States awarded these waivers will essentially be allowed to rewrite a major portion of NCLB—at least until Congress takes action. Because these waivers are so significant, it’s worth looking at the fundamentals.
Since 1994, federal law has required states to establish standards and assessments that measure student mastery of those standards, and to identify and assist Title I schools that did not make sufficient progress. In 2001, when the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was passed, these requirements were strengthened. And for the first time, schools and districts were held accountable for ensuring that all students reach proficiency in math and reading by the 2013–2014 school year.
In May, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) expanded its commitment to the preparation children receive prior to kindergarten, an area recent research has shown to be integral to academic success, with the announcement that new Race to the Top funds would be used for grants to enhance early childhood education Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius joined business, law enforcement, and military leaders to announce the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge, highlighting how investments in high-quality early learning programs help reduce crime, strengthen national security, and boost competitiveness.