Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the Student Success Act, a bill to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind. It follows recent passage by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) of its rewrite of ESEA called the Strengthening America’s Schools Act. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:
“Action by both House and Senate education committees provides the first light at the end of the very long ESEA tunnel, but can a bipartisan train straddle very different sets of partisan tracks and make it to the president’s desk?
“The federal government must play a critical role in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to receive a college- and career-ready education, but the Student Success Act, passed by the House committee, is heavy on the federal government identifying problems but light on remedies.
“The Senate bill, as well as the reauthorization proposal offered in the House Education and Workforce Committee by Ranking Member George Miller, asserts an appropriate federal role for education policy—one that is supportive and flexible while preserving the protections for underserved students that have been the hallmark of federal education policy since ESEA was first signed into law in 1965. In particular, these measures provide specific support to the nation’s high schools, which have been long overlooked by federal education policy.
“The twenty-first-century economy requires the full participation and support of all sectors in strengthening student achievement and graduation rates, including the federal government. I urge the Congress to work toward a bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA that maintains an appropriate federal role in supporting student success.”