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Moving in the Right Direction

Read the Bill: #ESEA Proposal Ends Federal Common Core Coercion

After decades of federal intrusion into the nation’s schools, it’s no surprise the congressional effort to replace No Child Left Behind has been met with some myths and misinformation about how a new education law will affect students, parents, and teachers. In particular, many have voiced concerns about whether the bill prohibits Washington’s involvement in Common Core. Fortunately, it absolutely does.

To help set the record straight, here are several provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act – taken directly from the legislative text – that clearly prohibit the federal government from incentivizing or coercing states into adopting Common Core:

  • PROHIBITION: The legislation protects the right of states to opt-out of Common Core without federal interference and prohibits the federal government from taking any action against a state that exercises that right.

  • PROHIBITION: The legislation ends the ability of the secretary of education to influence state standards and explicitly prevents any agent of the federal government – including the secretary – from incentivizing, coercing, mandating, or promoting Common Core or any other set of standards.

  • PROHIBITION: The legislation prohibits the federal government from endorsing, approving, developing, rewarding, or requiring any curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards or any other academic standards, whether through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.



Setting standards, developing curriculum, and assessing student achievement should be a state and local responsibility – not a federal one. That’s why the Every Student Succeeds Act places new and unprecedented prohibitions on the authority of the secretary of education and prohibits the secretary from incentivizing, forcing, or coercing states into adopting Common Core. You can read it for yourself.

To read the final bill, click here.

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