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Student Success Act: Empowering Parents and Education Leaders to Hold Schools Accountable

THE PROBLEM:

The involvement of parents and education leaders is vital to ensuring every student in every school receives an excellent education. Yet, under the current law, states and school districts are bound by what Washington wants, not by what parents and education leaders know their children need.

  • The one-size-fits-all federal accountability system, known as ‘Adequate Yearly Progress,’ restricts the ability of states and school districts to effectively gauge student learning and address underperforming schools.

  • Strict funding requirements stunt the development of innovative local education programs.

  • The existing federal Charter School Program has not effectively supported the replication and expansion of proven, high-quality charter schools, and causes the demand for alternatives to underperforming traditional public schools to far outpace the supply.

  • Federal programs designed to help states and school districts empower parents through education and family activities have underdelivered on their promise to address the specific educational needs of children.

While federal efforts to improve education have been well intentioned, they have hampered innovation and local school improvement efforts, and denied parents and children opportunities to escape underperforming or failing schools.

THE SOLUTION:

Active, engaged, and informed parents and education leaders play a critical role in ensuring every child, regardless of a family’s background, income, or zip code, has access to a high-quality education. The Student Success Act (H.R. 5) encourages state and local reform efforts and empowers parents and education leaders to hold their schools accountable for effectively teaching their students.

H.R. 5 – STUDENT SUCCESS ACT:

  • Expands educational options for parents and children by reforming the Charter School Program to support the development and replication of high-quality charter schools.

  • Ensures parents continue to have the information they need to hold schools accountable by continuing assessments in reading and math and the development of annual reports cards on the academic achievement of each subset of the student population.

  • Empowers parents and education leaders to hold teachers accountable by supporting efforts underway at the state and local level to evaluate teacher effectiveness.

  • Promotes additional educational opportunities for parents and children by supporting a Direct Student Services program, which will allow school districts to offer free tutoring or public school choice options if they choose.

  • Encourages the development and implementation of innovative education methods by strengthening the current magnet school program, which increases choices in public education.

  • Helps low-income students receive their fair share of federal assistance by allowing federal funds to follow children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.

  • Strengthens partnerships among parents and educators designed to meet the academic needs of children by improving the existing Parental Information and Resource Centers program, which the legislation renames Family Engagement Centers.

  • Better ensures the safety of each and every student by directing states and school districts to conduct employee background checks.

To download a PDF of this fact sheet, click here.

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