Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ESEA reauthorization: maybe a floor vote

The spring rush got away from me, so it has been some time since I've done any sort of an update on the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in Congress. Sorry about that.
Back in mid-June, the Senate Education committee approved a (Democratic) renewal, which in many ways looks like the Obama administration's NCLB waivers. However, there was here, as there has been elsewhere, some concerns raised around the impact of federal regulations (and spending) on rural schools.
The following week, the House Education committee approved a (Republican) renewal, which kind of goes in both directions: it keeps the 3-8 testing, but leaves accountability decisions up to states, reverses maintenance of efforts (on spending) requirements, would require teachers to be evaluated based on student performance, and tosses a whole bunch of lines of financing together into one pot. There's been some concerns raised on keeping the attention of districts on, for example, the performance of special education students.
There's a chance that the House will be considering this bill sometime soon, and I'd recommend that link on "what to watch" for further reading. Personally, I'm totally fine with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce not supporting this bill, but the civil rights community has a point. Watch that Title I conversation, in particular; Title I is seen as a big pot of money that everyone wants a part of. As the K-12 education blog points out as well, nobody here is dealing with the major objections that have been raised for years by parents and educators, so...let's say I don't have a lot of hope of anyone actually fixing anything here. Sorry about that, too.

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