WASHINGTON, D.C. | January 20, 2012 -
President Obama has hit the campaign trail with full force in recent months, and the slogan du jour for the entire administration seems to be “We Can’t Wait.” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has tied the phrase to education reform in speeches across the country in recent months, asserting over and over that the American people can’t wait for Congress to rewrite elementary and secondary education law, currently known as No Child Left Behind.
Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee agree with the secretary – improving K-12 education law is urgent, and that’s why the committee is leading the charge for education reform in Congress.
In the first session of the 112th Congress, House Education and the Workforce Committee members took the following steps to ensure education remains at the forefront of the agenda:
- Conducted school visits, back-to-school nights, and roundtables in communities across the country.
- Listened to numerous superintendents, state and local education officials, teachers, and parents describe the challenges facing students and schools.
- Convened 11 hearings with dozens of experts to discuss important K-12 education priorities, such as:
- Reducing burdensome federal regulations, paperwork, and red tape;
- Promoting flexibility and innovation at the state and local level;
- Encouraging parental options;
- Enhancing school choice;
- Improving teacher effectiveness;
- Reexamining public school accountability; and
- Streamlining federal education.
- Introduced three pieces of K-12 reform legislation, including:
- The Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act (H.R. 1891);
- The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 2218); and
- The State and Local Funding Flexibility Act (H.R. 2445).
- Secured bipartisan support for the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act, which was approved by the full U.S. House of Representatives in a vote of 365 to 54.
When it comes to K-12 education reform, “We Can’t Wait” is more than just a catchy slogan; House Education and the Workforce Republicans are taking immediate action to improve our nation’s classrooms and ensure all children have access to a quality education.
To kick off the second session of the 112th Congress, House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans released two additional pieces of draft legislation designed to enhance school accountability, improve flexibility, and support more effective teachers in American classrooms. The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act build upon last year’s legislative efforts, and bring us even closer to making education reform a reality.
Last week, House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans released a series of documents that further explain the new draft proposals. To read the series, “Ten Years Later, A Better Way Forward for K-12 Schools,” click the links below:
Part 1: New Republican Proposals Advance Education Reform
Part 2: Returning Responsibility for Student Achievement to State and Local Leaders
Part 3: Supporting Effective Teachers in Every Classroom
Part 4: Ending the Education Secretary's Overreach
Part 5: Reviewing the Facts