We thank Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and the House Education and the Workforce Committee for drafting legislation that represents the most progress Congress has made on ESEA reauthorization since No Child Left Behind passed more than a decade ago. This new legislation calls for a common-sense approach to federal education policy, addressing many of the current law’s shortcomings while offering significant steps to positively impact what we, as educators, are all looking for—teaching and learning.
AASA opposed NCLB from the beginning, citing the law’s federal overreach, punitive measures and unworkable mandates and requirements. To counteract these shortcomings, HR 5 makes sense because it balances the proper role of the federal government where education is concerned and makes significant improvements in the federal role in accountability, standards and assessments that AASA supports.
There were favorable measures in NCLB that HR 5 retains. These measures include requiring standards for what students should know and be able to do and assessments that provide a clear picture of what students, schools and school districts are doing to make progress toward career and college readiness. At the same time, HR 5 returns autonomy and responsibility back to the states. The states are best positioned to successfully implement education policy and improve student learning.
Education groups, including ours, have been calling for reauthorization of ESEA for years. Though HR 5 isn’t perfect, we thank the House Education and the Workforce Committee for developing a new vision in education that we wholeheartedly support.