The top Republicans on Congress' education committees unveiled rewrites to the nation's sweeping law known as No Child Left Behind, which governs elementary and secondary schools that receive tax dollars. While there were differences in the details, the Republicans' overall approach would give governors final responsibility for holding schools accountable and largely limit the Education Department to promoting the importance of learning.
"We would stop Washington, D.C., from deciding whether schools and teachers are failing and restore those decisions back to state and local governments," the top Republican on the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, told The Associated Press in an interview.
The chairman of the House Education Committee said Washington was a poor arbiter of what works — and what does not — in schools.
"We're not leaving the secretary in the position of judging that system," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.