Happy Friday! The big news today is the legislation passed last night by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Several media outlets have articles on the legislation:
Education Week writes that HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) hopes to move the bill to the floor of the Senate before Thanksgiving, and believes it's "possible" that Congress could approve a rewritten version of the nation's main education law before Christmas--in time to negate the need for the Obama administration's waiver plan. The article also has a list of amendments that were passed, rejected, and withdrawn.
The Washington Post notes that the government would stop supervising the performance of 95 percent of the nation's schools under the bill passed by the HELP Committee. It says only 5 percent of a state's worst-performing schools would be subject to federal oversight under the measure. Indeed, that feature of the bill has drawn criticism from organizations representing low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, among others because these students often attend schools that are not in the lowest 5 percent of performers overall and slip through the cracks. For example, Alliance President Bob Wise has noted that nearly 200,000 students of color drop out of high schools with estimated graduation rates above 60 percent. Education Week has more details on the organizations' objections to this provision.
CQ.com writes that the bill would depart from current law by removing the much-criticized accountability system that requires all students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Instead, it would require states to adopt "college- and career-ready" standards and develop statewide accountability systems to receive federal funding. The article also delves into the committee's debate on options for struggling schools and highly qualified teacher language.
The Alliance's "High School Soup" blog also has reactions to the legislation from members of the HELP Committee in an earlier blog post.
Now that you've gotten your fill of ESEA/NCLB, here are the rest of today's top education headlines: Read Entire Post