- With the Every Childs Succeeds Act expected to make it through the Senate, House conservatives may provide the only hurdle for the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
- The proposed replacement for the highly unpopular No Child Left Behind, the most recent rewrite of laws governing American K-12 education, would effectively scale back federal involvement in schools for the first time since the 1980s.
- The new guidelines within the proposal set the stage for individual states to create their own rules regarding accountability, school turnarounds, and teacher evaluations while holding onto old NCLB standards like annual reading and math testing for certain grades, Education Week reports.
State education officials are reportedly happy with the new language of the Every Child Succeeds Act. “Math and reading drove our accountability system. We want to educate all the areas of the child, not just one part,” Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen L. Pruitt told Education Week, regarding the limited curriculum of NCLB. Under the proposed revision, schools would be able to spend significantly less time on testing if their states decide it's appropriate.
Notably, the U.S. secretary of education would also no longer have any authority over testing, school turnarounds, evaluations, and standards — something Education Week calls a “secretarial smack-down… largely seen as a rebuke to Arne Duncan.” Yet because of this “smackdown,” the Education Department will probably have more trouble enforcing the law's accountability provisions.
On that front, the rewrite would also alter accountability by making test scores, graduation rates, and proficiency in English at least 51% of a school's grade. Additionally, a new mandate will bring Preschool Development Grants under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services in order to heighten preschool accessibility, allowing the Education Department to cease its battle over preschool funding cuts.