on Congress and ESEA!
Well, most folks thought the revisions to ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly No Child Left Behind, would move quickly though the House and Senate and it would all be over by now.
Apparently some House Republicans wanted stronger language favoring vouchers, getting rid of Common Core — and, if they really had their way, closing the Dept of Education itself.
At the end of the debate, one of our favorites, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, who is the ranking Democrat on the House education committee, made a motion to throw out the whole Republican bill and accept a substitute amendment in its place.
Here’s an interesting summary of the floor debate on HR 5, the House version of ESEA.
We like Rep. Scott’s ideas about assessment flexibility to allow for project-based and other types of assessment, and a focus on reducing unnecessary testing. Scott’s bill also requires accountability for resource allocation, prohibits fund portability, and requires maintenance of effort in funding. However, there’s still too much emphasis on testing and charter schools.
Clearly the House is wide open for our ideas, though whether or not those or anyone else’s ideas will actually go anywhere is a major question. So, keep pressing our points as outlined in our 1-page chart with your Congressional representatives.
Senate proposal still not out of committee
There’s still time to weigh in on ESEA on the Senate side. PAA has prepared another 1-page chart with our positions on various items in Senate education committee chair Lamar Alexander’s ESEA proposal. Please share it with your Senators today!
FairTest is asking for a special push on testing on the Senate side, since there is still a chance that a Senate bill could reduce annual assessment requirements to grade-span testing.
You can use their handy form to weigh in today.