WASHINGTON, D.C. | February 3, 2015
Every child in every school deserves access to an excellent education. Unfortunately, the country continues to fall far short of reaching that goal. The federal government’s involvement in local K-12 schools is at an all-time high, yet student achievement remains stagnant. Approximately one out of every five students drops out of high school. Many that do graduate lack the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a postsecondary education and compete in the workforce. Only 38 percent of high school seniors can read at grade level, and 26 percent are proficient in math. The K-12 education system is broken, making it harder for countless children to enjoy a life of opportunity and success.
Although No Child Left Behind was based on good intentions, there is broad, bipartisan agreement the law needs to be replaced. Even the president agrees, yet he has been unwilling to work with Congress to change the law. Instead, the administration has created a convoluted waiver process that replaces some of the law’s more onerous requirements with new mandates dictated by the Secretary of Education – compounding the confusion and frustration shared by states and schools.
It is time to reform a flawed law and improve K-12 education. Congress must replace No Child Left Behind with new policies that help every child access an excellent education. Toward that end, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) have introduced the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The legislation will reduce the federal footprint, restore local control, and empower parents and education leaders to hold schools accountable for effectively teaching students.
H.R. 5 – STUDENT SUCCESS ACT:
- Replaces the current national accountability scheme based on high stakes tests with state-led accountability systems, returning responsibility for measuring student and school performance to states and school districts.
- Ensures parents continue to have the information they need to hold local schools accountable.
- Eliminates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs and replaces this maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant, helping schools better support students.
- Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments, as well as reining in the secretary’s regulatory authority.
- Empowers parents with more school choice options by continuing support for magnet schools and expanding charter school opportunities, as well as allowing Title I funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.
- Strengthens existing efforts to improve student performance among targeted student populations, including English learners and homeless children.
To download a PDF of this fact sheet, click here.
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