Keansburg School District

June 5, 2015

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ED POLICY

Digging Through the Details: Key Points in Replacing NCLB

Body Congress continues to inch forward in replacing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), with each chamber working on its own replacement bill. Both the House bill—the Student Success Act (H.R.5)—and the Senate bill—the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177)—would make long-awaited updates to the nation’s main education law. A new report (PDF) from the Congressional Research Service, Congress’s nonpartisan investigative arm, explores these changes in six areas: accountability for student achievement; distribution of Title I grants; fiscal accountability; educator quality, equity, and effectiveness; grants to support teachers and school leaders; and targeted support versus block grants. Capitol Connection further examines some of these key topics below.

  • Accountability for student achievement: The Senate bill would require states to show how they are monitoring school climate, discipline, early education, and homeless children as part of their accountability systems, in addition to accounting for student academic performance. The House bill would only require that state accountability systems annually measure student and school performance and include strategies for low performing schools.
  • Funding: Title I grants for disadvantaged students would be shifted under the House bill to allow the funding to follow individual students to the school of their choice (this concept is referred to as “portability.”) The house bill would also lock education funding levels for six years, meaning that programs would not receive increased funds during this time despite need. The Senate bill would not allow for portability; however, it would allow 100% of Title II funding for educator supports and Title IV funding for safe and healthy students to be transferred into Title I.
  • Educator quality, equity, and effectiveness: While both bills would eliminate NCLB’s “highly qualified” teacher requirement, only the Senate bill would retain a provision that ensures inexperienced or out-of-field teachers do not teach poor and minority children at higher rates than their peers. Both bills would allow federal funds to be used for the development and implementation of teacher and school leader evaluation systems that could include student achievement data as a measurement of effectiveness. If states use federal funds for evaluations, the Senate bill would require them to use multiple measures.
  • Targeted support versus block grants: The House bill would eliminate several existing competitive programs that support a well-rounded education but would greatly expand flexibility in the use of Title I funds. The Senate bill would also eliminate some competitive grant programs while retaining most formula grant programs. See the report (PDF) to find out which programs would be retained or eliminated.

Craving more comparisons? See ASCD’s ESEA Comparison Chart (PDF), which looks at both bills in comparison to ASCD positions in key areas. And be sure to visit ascd.org/esea for continuous updates from both chambers as Congress works to replace NCLB.

The Senate will begin floor debate on S.1177 later this month. But House floor debate stalled in February, and House leaders have not yet scheduled resumption of debate. If you have yet to do so, contact your representative now to ask that they move forward with H.R.5.

ASSESSMENT

Travel Journals: Student-Created Textbooks

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

NOTEWORTHY INFORMATION

BLOGS, VIDEOS, ARTICLES AND BEYOND

21ST CENTURY SKILLS

EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Future Ready

PARENT INVOLVEMENT

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