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Hearings Aim to Properly Implement Every Student Succeeds Act

Hearings Seek to Properly Implement Every Student Succeeds Act

Replacing the long-expired No Child Left Behind Act and passing the new education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, was half of the battle.

Implementing the new legislation is the other half, and hearings commissioned by Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander are intended to help do just that.

With the shifting of power from the federal government to individual states, Alexander said he hopes committee meetings will help “unleash” innovation and excellence across states.

Before the first hearing last Tuesday, Alexander said:

"I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about how we implement this law to spur a period of innovation and excellence, that I'm sure will be the result of this new era of accountability and responsibility and opportunity placed in the hands of those who should have the responsibility for our children and our schools. “

During the hearing, witnesses clashed on how accountability with the shift of power should be interpreted and upheld.

"Celebrating the return to state and local control ignores the progress made under No Child Left Behind and that 'the state and local track record of serving the interests of vulnerable children is not a good one,’” said Katy Haycock, president of The Education Trust, according to The Seventy-Four.

Similarly, "Sen. Patty Murray, the committee’s senior Democrat, said she expects the Education Department to 'use its full authority under the Every Student Succeeds Act to hold schools and states accountable for offering a quality education.”

On the other hand, some argued for the federal government to use restraint when interpreting the law and regulating it.

“'We need to actually make sure states do their jobs and not have the federal government do so much regulation that this now becomes a repeat of the debate we just had [under No Child Left Behind and waivers]. Let us do the work,' said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers,’” according to The Seventy-Four.

The House will hold its own committee hearings to interpret and discuss the law, as well.

Tomorrow, the House will hold the “Next Steps for K-12 Education: Upholding the Letter and Intent of the Every Student Succeeds Act” hearing.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/24/2016

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