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Leaving 'No Child' Behind: 'The Every Child Succeeds Act' Gets First Approval

Leaving 'No Child' Behind: 'The Every Child Succeds Act' Gets First Approval

The bipartisan bill designed to replace the No Child Left Behind law and remove power from the federal government was unanimously approved by a U.S Senate panel which will now send it to the full senate for approval.

One of the goals of the bipartisan measure, designed by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murphy, is to put the responsibility of handling student achievement back into the hands of the states and school districts.

"'That consensus is this: Continue the law's important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement,'" Alexander said, according to an article on WBIR.com.

Although standardized testing will still be in the picture- students will take "two per year in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and one during high school...and a total of three science tests between grades 3 and 12"- failing test scores won't result in punishment from the federal government as was the case with No Child Left Behind, according to the article.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, expired in 2007, but has still been in effect until a new law serves as its replacement. The act has been criticized for placing to much emphasis on test scores and in turn harming educators, students, and schools as a whole.

The potential law will also allow for states to decide whether or not to adopt the Common Core, another controversial set of standards.

"'...State accountability systems must meet limited federal guidelines, including challenging academic standards for all students, but the federal government is prohibited from determining or approving state standards or even incentivizing states into adopting specific standards,'" Alexander said.

While many educators stand behind the new measures, some argue for the importance of tests and believe that under performing schools won't be forced to act under the new legislation.

According to the article, "the group Alliance for Excellent Education has concerns about the bill. The national policy and advocacy organization posted on its website that by reducing the strength of the federal standards, it could hurt low-performing schools because the law doesn't require states to act."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor 

4/17/2015

 

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