Congress Passes New Federal ESEA Bill

legislation1We posted several analyses of the updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  Current legislation, called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is on its way to the President’s desk.   No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top are gone.  What remains are annual testing requirements and support for charter schools.  Responsibility for most education accountability reverts to the states.  Thus, each state can determine how test scores are used for teacher evaluation, school grades and the Common Core.

States are required to identify schools with under performing students and help fix them.  What this means is unclear.  For a good analysis, see Education Week.  Many provisions are subject to different interpretations.  One thing is clear, citizens need to turn to their state legislatures  to make reasonable, valid decisions about how test scores are used.  Continued policies that force districts and teachers to focus instruction on ‘passing the test’ can be changed, if the voters insist.


Posted in Achievement, Charter Schools, Civil Rights, Common Core Standards, Curriculum, Legislation, Public Education, State and Local government, Teachers, Testing, US Government.

One Comment

  1. Education Week has excerpts from prepared remarks of Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Who offers no apology for blowing $5 billion on Race to the Top while strong arming cash strapped states into incorporating illegal and untested Common Core Standards into their education agenda.

    The bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) seeks to rein in future secretaries of education. And it would allow states to chart their own course to teacher evaluation and school turnarounds to name a couple of policies closely associated with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and company.

    Duncan sees a lot to like in Every Student Succeeds Act he plans to say in a speech next Tuesday. The bill, he claims, embodies much of the vision he laid out for the next ESEA. “For me and my colleagues at the Department, our role has never for one minute been about our authority, or taking power from local leaders. It’s always been about what was expected of our kids, what quality of education we’d offer them, and whether there would be change if they weren’t making progress”.

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