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Senator Talks About Updating No Child Left Behind

Senator Talks About Updating No Child Left Behind

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has risen to the forefront on updating the Bush-era No Child Left Behind act (NCLB) with a bipartisan effort called the Every Child Achieves Act. As he continues to push to update NCLB, he talks with U.S. News about the rewrite's important and the process behind getting it to pass. 

According to Alexander, his reauthorization of NCLB, which is seven years overdue, has come so late because previous efforts to overhaul the act have been partisan and have therefore failed to pass in Congress. He says one of the most important parts of his act is that it is bipartisan.

This meant that certain things he and his partners would have liked to see- specially more emphasis on early education and school choice, haven't made it into the rewrite. But he argues this a necessary part of the process for efficiently reversing NCLB.

The senator said that NCLB is so long overdue for change that people who would normally not agree are willing to work together to make change happen.

If it weren't for these waivers the Department Of Education has issued to [43 states and the District of Columbia], we'd have almost every one of our 100,000 public schools labeled a failing school. And teachers, governors and superintendents alike are fed up with Washington's meddlesomeness and the 'national school board.' So there's just a great clamor across the country from people who don't always agree – such as teachers unions and governors –that we need to fix No Child Left Behind.

Alexander is confident- and hopeful- that by July, Congress will be able to agree and pass a rewrite.

Alexander has held numerous positions in the education field, including being president of a university and secretary of education. As a result, he says that he understands the need for education to return to the hands of local control.

[W]ell-intentioned orders from Washington often backfire, as they have with the Common Core mandate, and trying to do teacher evaluation from Washington, D.C. So it's taught me that those of us who aren't close to the child, who are at a distance, such as United States senators, ought to exercise some humility when suggesting to 3.5 million teachers exactly how to do their job in helping 50 million students in 100,000 public schools.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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