More lawmakers and officials put in their two cents on NCLB reauthorization late Friday. Rep. John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House and an original author of NCLB, said the law was past ready for a makeover. “I remain proud of what we accomplished more than a decade ago, but the simple fact is that our nation’s education policies are long overdue for an update.” More here.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the top Republican on the Senate education committee, is delighted with the House’s move to scrap a mandate that states craft evaluation systems based on student outcomes. He said the House bill is now a “kissing cousin” of his own legislation.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a very long anti-endorsement that does nothing to disguise his frustration with Brokedown Congress. Snippet below, read the rest here.
America's families, students, and teachers deserve an education law that advances progress for all students—especially our most-vulnerable children. The bill that the House passed today is not that law ... I have met and spoken many times with Congressional leaders to try to create a new version of law that would fix NCLB's most burdensome and broken elements. But, in the absence of a workable new law, we have worked together with 39 states and the District of Columbia, and are working with other states, to provide them with flexibility from the one-size-fits-all mandates of NCLB ... I continue to support a strong, bipartisan reauthorization that helps to prepare students for a globally competitive economy."
Does going from the schoolhouse to the halls of Congress have an impact on how you see education legislation? Apparently it does, according to my colleague Liana Heitin, who takes a look at the role that former educators Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Mark Takano, D-Calif., played in the NCLB renewal. (Bishop, who led the charge to scrap the teacher-evaluation mandate, was especially pivotal.) And thisweekineducation’s Alexander Russo has also written about Takano here.
- Wonder what is in the NCLB bill for charter schools? Hint: The new provision that would allow Title I money to follow students to the school of their choice has big implications for charters. My colleague Katie Ash explains it all right here.
- Adaptive testing (online exams that adjust to the test-takers’ skill level) may well be the wave of the future. And the Student Success Act opens the door for these types of tests to be used for accountability purposes, thanks in part to Rep. Rob Petri, R-Wis., a long-time member of the House education committee. Edweek’s Ben Herold walks you through it all.
- And speaking of accountability, special education groups are none too happy with this bill, which they argue will ultimately give schools a lot less incentive to ensure children with special needs are learning. Christina Samuels has the low-down at the On Special Education blog. Meanwhile, Anne Hyslop, an education policy analyst at the New America Foundation (and edu-Twitter rock star) has her own take on whether the bill strikes the right balance when it comes to the federal role in K-12. Check it out here.