Senate panel attempts to rewrite No Child Left Behind law

According to The Washington Post, No Child Left Behind is facing a 600-page rewrite. The Senate HELP committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) is currently working on adjusting language and amendments that would seriously alter the bill’s impact.

Some of the revisions include a pivot towards allowing states to assume control over how teachers are evaluated and would drop the federal definition of a highly qualified teacher.”

The bill also gives additional support for charter schools by providing “incentives for states to adopt stronger charter school authorizing practices.”

No Child Left Behind expired in 2007 after lawmakers couldn’t come to a compromise over its renewal. But this time seems to be different. The bill has a bipartisan tone and any amendment that did not have support from Democrats and Republicans was withdrawn during the bill’s mark up.

Yet those amendments will likely appear again when the full Senate has an opportunity to vote on the measure. Republican Senator Tim Scott has an idea to funnel federal money meant to help poor students into a voucher system that any child attending a high-poverty school may use to transfer into a new school district.

His amendment failed in committee but he will reintroduce on the Senate floor.

Other inclusions and provisions included are an update to federal testing requirements, the peer review process, and an alteration to funding for early childhood learning programs.

This updated version certainly looks better than the original. Students will not face as many tests and the results of those assessments may no longer be tied to teacher evaluation. Still–more funding for low-income schools would be nice in an effort to fully level the playing field.

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