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Part 5: Ten Years Later, A Better Way Forward for K-12 Schools
Reviewing the Facts

House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans recently released two pieces of draft legislation designed to rewrite elementary and secondary education law, currently known as No Child Left Behind. The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act are commonsense proposals that will help raise the bar on student learning and put more decisions back in the hands of state and local education leaders. Take a look at some key facts:

FACT: The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act will help schools hire and retain better teachers.

No Child Left Behind’s “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements forced schools to focus on an educator’s credentials and tenure instead of his or her ability to improve student learning. It’s time to steer the conversation away from ‘highly qualified’ and toward ‘highly effective.’ The Republican proposals will eliminate the antiquated “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements and instead allow states and school districts to develop their own teacher evaluation systems. States and school districts must make student achievement levels a key factor in teacher performance, and parents, teachers, and local education leaders must be engaged in the development of the evaluation system.

Additionally, the proposals will consolidate several federal teacher quality programs into a new Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant. This grant program will award funds to states and school districts to implement innovative initiatives that have a proven track record for successfully recruiting more effective teachers to the classroom.

FACT: The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act will help ensure taxpayers’ investments in K-12 education are used more efficiently to improve student performance.

The Department of Education currently operates more than 80 programs tied to K-12 classrooms. Many of these programs are duplicative, and several have proved unsuccessful.  The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act eliminate ineffective programs and provide states and school districts enhanced flexibility in the use of federal education funds, so they can apply resources to the programs and initiatives that best meet the needs of students.

FACT: The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act will allow schools to dedicate additional resources to specific student populations, such as migrant students, English Learners, and Native Americans.

Under No Child Left Behind, federal assistance for certain student populations is fractured into rigid funding streams that can only be applied to a specific group of students. As a result, schools may not have the appropriate funds to adequately serve their unique population of students.

To help ensure all students are making progress in the classroom, the Republican proposals will retain separate funding for five student assistance programs (Migrant Education, Neglected and Delinquent, English Language Acquisition, Rural Education, and Indian Education programs) and continue requiring the disaggregation of student data. However, states and school districts will be granted the flexibility to use funds received under any of these programs for activities authorized in any of the other Title I student assistance programs.

FACT: The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act will improve school choice and help parents become more involved in their children’s classroom experience.

In addition to engaging parents in the development of local teacher evaluation systems, the proposals will incorporate the policies of the Empowering Parents through Successful Charter Schools Act (H.R. 2218), which supports the establishment of more high quality charter schools in communities across the United States. H.R. 2218 was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in September, 2011, with bipartisan support. Furthermore, the proposals will reauthorize the existing Magnet Schools program to support additional education options for students.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans are leading the way toward a better education system in which parents, teachers and state and local leaders are empowered to build superior schools and improve student achievement. To read more about the ways the new proposals benefit children and families, protect schools from overly prescriptive federal mandates, and encourage innovation in the classroom, click here:

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

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