A coalition of 10 current and former state schools chiefs that calls itself Chiefs for Change unveiled a list of principles last week for revamping the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The group emphasized rigorous accountability, keeping the federal law’s mandate for annual assessments, and setting “clear and differentiated” rankings for schools. It also suggested reducing education aid to states that fail to take “bold and necessary actions” to improve student performance. The group did not mention vouchers, but it suggested a focus on expanding school choice. It also called for improving teacher quality, recruitment, and retention.
Indiana state Superintendent Tony Bennett, a founding member of Chiefs for Change, said the federal government should “set very high expectations for states, provide the resources and flexibility for the use of those resources, and then, frankly, get out of the way and hold us intensely accountable if we do not meet those standards. In other words, take the money away.”
A version of this article appeared in the May 25, 2011 edition of Education Week as ‘Chiefs for Change’ Issues Principles for ESEA Revision