Education Reform in Plain Sight: A Look at the Numbers
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 29, 2012
House Republicans began the 112th Congress with a promise, one that centered on listening to the American people and fielding their concerns and ideas for turning things around. We vowed to do away with backroom deals in Washington and advance legislation through a transparent, open process.
Throughout our efforts to revamp elementary and secondary education law, House Committee on Education and the Workforce Republicans have stood by this fundamental promise, making a concerted effort to keep members of Congress and the public informed of the policies under consideration. A look at the numbers reveals a stark contrast between Democrats’ allegiance to inaction and secrecy and the Republican commitment to an open K-12 reform debate:
Number of Years No Child Left Behind Has Been Overdue for Reauthorization: 5
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind, has been due for reauthorization since 2007.
Number of Years Without Reauthorization in a Democrat-led House: 4
Democrats held control of the House of Representatives in the 110th and 111th Congress (2007-2010). From 2009-2010, Democrats also controlled the Senate and White House.
Number of Bills to Reauthorize No Child Left Behind Introduced by House Democrats: 0
In the four years Democrats controlled the House, they did not introduce legislation to reauthorize No Child Left Behind.
Number of Administration Plans to Sidestep Lasting Reform: 1
Earlier this month, the administration announced the first round of conditional waivers for states to opt out of certain provisions under No Child Left Behind. This controversial plan abandons hope of lasting reform to the law and embraces temporary changes that only exacerbate the challenges facing our schools.
Number of Opportunities for Public Comment on Administration Plans: 0
The administration chose to move forward without Congressional assistance or public input to determine eligibility for and grant conditional waivers.
Number of Public Hearings on ESEA Reform Held by Committee Republicans: 12
Since the beginning of the 112th Congress, the committee has held 12 hearings to discuss K-12 education reform.
Number of Individuals who Testified on Education Reform: 44
Committee members listened to state and local education officials, superintendents, teachers, and other education experts describe the challenges and opportunities facing K-12 schools.
Number of Days to Review Draft Legislative Proposals for H.R. 3989 and H.R. 3990: 34
Committee Republicans released draft legislation for public review and comment on January 6, 2012.
Number of Days to Review Introduced Legislation Prior to Committee Consideration: 20
Committee Republicans formally introduced the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act on February 9, 2012, incorporating input from education officials, teachers, and experts.
Number of amendments offered by House Democrats to improve H.R. 3989 and H.R. 3990: 0
Committee Democrats chose not to offer real amendments to improve the underlying legislation. Instead, they put forth one extensive substitute for each piece of legislation; both substitutes were well over 100 pages in length.
Number of Days for the Public to Review House Democrats’ substitutes to H.R. 3989 and H.R. 3990: 0
Committee Republicans, education leaders, and the general public were denied an opportunity to review the Democrat proposals prior to the markup.
Democrat amendments materialize for the first time at Tuesday's markup.