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No Child Left Behind Overhaul Passes in Senate

No Child Left Behind Overhaul Passes in Senate

The Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act today, a bipartisan rewrite of the expired Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act.

The 81-17 vote comes a week after the House passed a more conservative version of the bill; the next steps will be working out the differences before it reaches President Obama's desk.

"Supporters of the Senate bill said the overhaul gets rid of the teach-to-the-test mentality that they argue has dominated public schools since No Child Left Behind's inception," said TheHill.org.

Though the bill maintains federal reading and math standards, it puts power in the hands of local and state governments to determine how to measure school performance. The bill also prohibits the federal government from tying any sort of academic standard to funding.

"Teachers, parents, students, school board members and politicians of all kinds have pushed for a reworking of No Child Left Behind and its heavy reliance on standardized testing to demonstrate student progress, which critics say resulted in a generation of public school students who learned how to take tests on reading and math rather than mastering the subjects themselves," according to The Washington Times.

One of the notable provisions absent from the Every Child Achieves Act but present on the House education measure was a provision for a voucher-like system where public school funds follow low income children if they opt to go to a different traditional or charter school.

Though the House and Senate will soon conference over their respective re-writes, it's unclear if President Obama will sign off on the final product as his administration has publicly denounced both versions. If he does, the long overdue No Child Left Behind will finally be replaced and the federal education policy will no longer be dictated by a patchwork of waivers.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/16/2015

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