Act gives options to parents, states and local communities so they can determine how their students learn best
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, PublicSchoolOptions.org and parent leaders across the country praised the bi-partisan passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization, the so-called Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), which passed the U.S. Senate 81-17. The bill, championed by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), allows parents more options to determine the schools where their children learn best and replaces the current K-12 education law, No Child Left Behind.
By reducing federal regulations and giving states greater flexibility, the bill will create better access to school choice options, allow for more meaningful testing designs, and help give parents the ability to make informed choices when selecting their schools.
The passage of the bill is the culmination of two weeks of debate on the Senate floor related to education reform. The House version, which passed last week, and the Senate version must now be reconciled between leaders of both chambers before it can proceed to the president’s desk.
STATEMENT FROM TILLIE ELVRUM, PUBLICSCHOOLOPTIONS.ORG PRESIDENT AND COLORADO PARENT LEADER
“We have been waiting a long time to see the right changes made to No Child Left Behind, and thanks to the leadership and dedication of Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray this bill does just that. Those senators who voted for this bill understand the burdens that many of our schools, parents, and students felt regarding standardized testing. And they understand that accountability should be at the student level, rather than based on district or school-wide averages. With the Every Child Achieves Act our states will have more flexibility in testing and accountability and parents will have more options when determining what schools will work best for their children. Today is a step in the right direction and I hope to see the good work of Congress lead to final passage of education reform this year.”
Every Child Achieves Act highlights:
– Lifts many of the heavy handed federal one-size-fits-all regulations that currently burden schools and teachers and clutter the decision making process for parents.
– Removes the mandated focus on school- or district-wide averages in accountability designs and allows for focus at the student level.
– Allows greater flexibility to states, which will need to follow through, to design testing and accountability designs that empower parents.
– Prohibits any federal coercion or mandate on Common Core by providing incentives to states, and allows states to develop their own standards.
– Empowers parents to make informed choices in selecting the school that best serves a student’s learning needs.
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national alliance of over 60,000 parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for equal access without restrictions to the school that best suits the individual student’s learning needs whether it is public, non-public or home-based.
With active parent-led organizations in over thirty states, PublicSchoolOptions.org is an advocacy organization that is unmatched at the grassroots level. Just as parents have fought for years at the state level to support education policies that improve access and provide greater public school options, the parents of PublicSchoolOptions.org stand ready to support policy at the federal level that matches the principles outlined above.