Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia will serve as the top Democrat on the House education committee when the new session of Congress starts in January. He’ll be taking over the slot held by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., an original author of the No Child Left Behind Act, who is retiring this year after nearly four decades in Congress.
Scott has long had an interest in K-12 education, with a focus on equity. He recently introduced legislation to officially authorize the Obama administration’s “Promise Neighborhood” program, which pairs K-12 with other supports, such as health and arts programs. And back in 2007, he wrote a bill that would have held states accountable for improving graduation rates, including for poor and minority kids.
But Scott may be more skeptical of test-based accountability than Miller. Scott’s favorite line on NCLB, according to former committee aides? “You can’t fatten a pig by weighing it.”
Here’s a snippet from Scott’s statement upon getting word that he’ll be the top Democrat in the House on education. (Note that he lists “closing the achievement gap” first among his priorities.)
This Committee has serious issues to tackle in the next session - closing the achievement gap, reducing the school dropout rate, addressing college affordability, dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline, [and] improving child nutrition."
Meanwhile, Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., got the official word Wednesday that he’ll be able to stay on as chairman of the education panel. More here.