School & District Management

Dueling Visions in Congress on NCLB Renewal

By Alyson Klein — July 09, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Almost no one expects Congress to finish the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act this year, but there has been some important—although partisan—action in both chambers over the past month on the long-overdue overhaul. The recent discussion, debate, and policy proposals give education advocates and school district officials a sense of where Congress may eventually end up when it comes to the nation’s landmark education law.

In June, for example, the U.S. Senate education committee approved its version of a bill to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of which the NCLB law is the current iteration. The Senate panel’s vision shares many similarities with the policies pushed by the Obama administration through its NCLB waivers to states.

The measure, written by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the committee’s chairman, would direct nonwaiver states to submit an ambitious accountability plan to the Department of Education. It would also ask states to develop teacher-evaluation systems that take student-achievement data into account—but schools would not have to use the data for personnel decisions, only for professional development and to ensure that highly qualified teachers are equally distributed.

“This is not the heavy hand of the federal government telling you this is exactly what you have to do,” Sen. Harkin said during committee consideration. “We’re saying ... let’s work together to make sure we have access and equity for our kids.”

Meanwhile, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved its own radically different vision for reauthorization.

The panel’s bill would largely dismantle the federal accountability requirements at the center of the NCLB law, maintaining the legislation’s testing schedule, but getting rid of the federal responsibility for school improvement. And it would jettison maintenance of effort, which requires states and school districts to keep up their own spending at a certain level in order to tap federal funds.

“The legislation will reduce the federal footprint,” said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the bill’s author, during committee consideration.

The House bill which garnered only GOP support could be on the floor this month.

A version of this article appeared in the July 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as NCLB Renewal Bills Chart Varied Paths

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management How District Leaders Can Make Sure Teachers Don't Miss the Loan-Forgiveness Deadline
Many teachers and other public employees may not know they qualify for a student loan-forgiveness waiver that has an Oct. 31 deadline.
4 min read
Young adult woman cutting the ball and chain labeled "Debt" which is attached as the tassel hanging from a graduate's mortarboard
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Download A Visual Guide to Nonverbal Communication (Download)
Understanding nonverbal communication can help you improve interactions and get your message across.
1 min read
v42 8SR Nonverbal Communication Share Image
Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty
School & District Management Ensure Your Staff Gets the Message: 3 Tips for School Leaders
School staff are inundated with information. Here's a few ways to ensure they will actually hear you.
3 min read
Image showing a female and male in business attire connecting speech bubble puzzle pieces.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Keep School Staff Motivated All Year Long: Advice From Principals
Here are some of the things—big and small—that school leaders do and say to keep teachers excited about the job.
13 min read
Teachers and faculty play a game of Kahoot! to get to know one another better during a Welcome Back training at CICS Bucktown on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 in Chicago, Ill.
Teachers and faculty play a game to get to know one another better during a Welcome Back training at Chicago's CICS Bucktown in August.
Taylor Glascock for Education Week