Senators Announce Agreement on Education Law

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Signaling some unity in the Senate on overhauling the "No Child Left Behind" law, two senators announced Monday an agreement to move forward on bipartisan legislation to revamp it.

Soon after, however, Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a statement noting that the bill did not include a provision the administration favors, which is a requirement that local and state districts develop teacher and principal evaluation systems. Duncan said he believes "that comprehensive evaluation system based on multiple measures, including student achievement, is essential for education reform to move forward" and "we can't retreat from reform."

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Mike Enzi, Wyo., the top senators from their parties on the Senate committee with jurisdiction over education, made the announcement two days before the committee will consider the sweeping bill that seeks to give more control to states on education and change some of the law's unpopular proficiency standards. Last week, Harkin released an outline of the plan the senators had been working on behind closed doors that did include a component on teacher and principal evaluations. At the time, Enzi hadn't yet publicly signed onto the plan.

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