Stagnant student achievement. An ever-expanding federal footprint. Disappointing graduation rates. These are just a few of the problems plaguing America’s K-12 classrooms. As Congress works to replace No Child Left Behind
, education stakeholders and conservative leaders reaffirm
it is time to move in a fundamentally different direction.
The Student Success Act offers an alternative to the heavy-handed, Washington-knows-best approach that has failed students and families for decades. The proposal is “the most conservative federal education move in a quarter century” and “a promising bill ... that deserves the enthusiastic support of conservatives.” In National Review Online, Michael Petrilli writes the Student Success Act will “put states, communities, parents, and teachers back in charge” of K-12 education (excerpt below).
With $4 billion in Race to the Top funds, President Obama forced states into a cramped Procrustean bed of his design. To compete for the money, states had to follow a prescriptive playbook that included the Common Core state standards, a test-score-based approach to teacher evaluations, and much more.
The Obama team doubled down on this approach a few years later when it offered waivers to states to exempt them from the most unworkable requirements of NCLB. But the conditions they attached to the waivers were clearly illegal and also made for bad policy.
Thankfully, this era of federal overreach in education might finally be coming to a close. That’s because Republicans in Congress have had enough of big-government conservatism and are demanding that bureaucrats stop micromanaging our schools from Washington.
The tip of the spear is the Student Success Act, H.R. 5, an education bill currently moving through Congress that would rein in NCLB. As my colleague Chester Finn has written, it represents the most conservative move in federal education policy in at least a quarter century. In every important way, it limits Washington’s role and gives states the authority that they had before the George W. Bush era.
To read the full article in National Review Online, click here.
To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.
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