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Senate Education Committee to Kick Off ESEA Renewal

By Alyson Klein — March 08, 2010 1 min read

We’ve heard a bit about the process for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the House, while the Senate has been relatively silent on the issue.

But it sounds like that could change tomorrow when the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee holds its very first hearing on renewing the law.

The hearing’s title? ESEA Reauthorization: The Importance of World-Class K-12 Education for our Economic Success. Sounds like they’re starting out with an “economic competitiveness/job creation strategy,” which makes sense from a messaging standpoint, given that in survey after survey, the public says it wants Congress to focus on jobs.

But the topic doesn’t give us much of a hint on where the committee stands on the key questions going into reauthorization, including how to measure student learning, gauge teacher effectiveness, and turn around low-performing schools.

On the four-man witness list? Some are usual suspects:

*John Castellan, the president of the Business Roundtable in Washington

*Dennis Van Roekel, the president, National Education Association in Washington

And some are not:

*Andreas Schleicher, the head of the Indicators and Analysis Division, Education Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris, France

*Charles Butt, the chairman and CEO of H-E-B in San Antonio, Texas

Interestingly, there’s no one from the Obama administration, which is expected to put out some sort of ESEA blueprint soon.