|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012
Phone: (202) 828-0828
“Bipartisan gains for the nation’s high schools made under the Bush and Obama administrations would be threatened or lost under the current proposal,” says Wise.
Washington, DC – On Friday, January 6, U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) released two draft pieces of legislation on accountability and teacher effectiveness as part of the committee’s work to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:
“If NCLB is a car, then the good news is the House committee has begun shopping for a new model. The real issue is how many options will be on the final model.
“As ESEA is addressed by the House, it is important to maintain the bipartisan gains for the nation’s high schools and build on this progress to provide every child with a college- and career-ready education.
“Unfortunately, bipartisan gains for the nation’s high schools made under the Bush and Obama administrations would be threatened or lost under the House committee’s proposal. For example, the Bush administration issued regulations in 2008 that make common, accurate high school graduation rates a meaningful part of accountability for school performance. Two Democrats in Congress-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA)-introduced legislation that was included in the Senate’s bill to rewrite NCLB to codify these regulations into law. Under the House draft, however, the federal requirement for high school graduation rate accountability would be eliminated.
“Similarly, both Presidents Bush and Obama supported the School Improvement Grant program in order to focus resources and reform on the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Today, nearly 500 high schools receive support from this program, which would be eliminated under the House proposal.
“Additionally, red and blue states across the country have taken a critical step toward improving their education systems by adopting college- and career-ready standards. The House draft does not call for necessary college- and career-ready standards and could limit the ability of the U.S. Department of Education to support the state-led effort to implement common assessments aligned with these standards.
“Without these key components for the nation’s high schools, the push to drive education reform into the twenty-first century could run out of gas.
“ESEA has always been bipartisan, and it is critical that the House produce legislation that can be supported by both sides of the aisle. The Alliance looks forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats toward legislation that strengthens the nation’s high schools.”
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.