WASHINGTON, D.C. | April 15, 2015
For too long, Washington has insisted more programs, mandates, and spending would fix a broken K-12 education system. While well intended, No Child Left Behind doubled-down on this flawed approach, leaving countless students trapped in failing schools. A one-size-fits-all accountability system has ushered in an era of ineffective high-stakes testing that has done little – if anything – to improve student achievement, and a tangled web of rules and regulations have stymied innovation in the classroom, local districts, and states. Taking a fundamentally different approach, the Student Success Act reduces the federal role and restores local control in education while empowering parents and education leaders.
As Jeanne Allen, domestic policy advisor for President Reagan and former education scholar at the Heritage Foundation, writes in National Review Online, the Student Success Act is the “epitome” of a conservative agenda and will “swing the pendulum back to minimal federal intrusion” in the nation’s classrooms. She continues:
[The Student Success Act] restores to the states power to implement current federal programs, gives local school districts more leeway on accountability and testing, ensures that reporting and accountability for federal funds are transparent, and provides incentives for states and schools that offer choices to parents. The bill provides flexibility and autonomy in developing rigorous state standards and meaningful school-choice programs. The bill eliminates the ability of the U.S. education secretary to waive tenets of congressionally approved law and ensures that Title I does what was intended in 1965: help the least-advantaged kids learn and progress.
Allen concludes, until a new law is signed, “the federal government will continue to amass power and will repeat history, leaving too much authority in the hands of Washington bureaucrats and special interests … Failing to pass [the Student Success Act] reinforces bad policy and does nothing to help our children or our nation gain a competitive edge.”
It’s time for Congress to replace No Child Left Behind with a new law that rejects the Washington-knows-best approach and reinstates parents and state and local leaders as the rightful decision-makers of their child’s education.
To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.
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