New Bills to Build Data Systems, Muscles

August 01, 2007 1 min read

Even as Congress prepares for vacation, House members are stating their priorities for NCLB reauthorization.

Today, the Alliance for Excellent Education put out an alert about the Measuring and Evaluating Trends for Reliability, Integrity, and Continued Success Act, or the METRICS Act. It would provide up to $150 million in formula grants for states to create and use new longitudinal data systems. Such systems are vital for developing accurate graduation rates and for helping educators understand how to help students improve their academic performance, data lovers say. Reps. Rush Holt, D-N.J., and Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., are sponsoring the bill.

On the lighter side, three congressmen announced they want to fight childhood obesity by requiring physical education in schools. Under the FIT Kids Act, states would need to demonstrate that their schools are providing enough PE in schools. The bill would give states credit for working towards a goal of 150 minutes per week of PE in elementary schools and 225 minutes in upper grades.

Earlier this year, Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., won the endorsement of exercise guru Richard Simmons for a bill that would set new standards for physical education and require a national fitness exam by 2009-10. Simmons is promoting this new bill too. The American Heart Association is backing the latest effort, as are Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Jay Inslee, D-Wash.

These bills are unlikely to go through the legislative process on their own. Will they or some revised version of them be attached in any way to the NCLB reauthorization? We may see in September.

Note: The Congressional Record doesn’t have links to these bills yet. I’ll provide links when it does.

UPDATE: The METRICS Act is H.R. 3253, and the FIT Kids Act is H.R. 3257. The Congressional Record doesn’t have the text either bill yet.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.