Tomorrow, the House Education and the Workforce Committee will consider the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), legislation which proposes dramatic changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind, introduced by Chairman John Kline (R-MN) along with every republican on the Committee.
While H.R. 5 eliminates adequate yearly progress and maintains disaggregating student achievement data so that we know how students with disabilities are performing – two CEC supported provisions, our list of concerns with the bill is long:
- Weaken accountability systems for students with disabilities;
- Mandate overly prescriptive teacher evaluation systems;
- Eliminate highly qualified provisions which establish a minimum bar to entry to the teaching profession;
- Establish funding levels for all programs that keep sequestration in place;
- Increase use of public funding for private schools, such as through voucher programs;
- Deemphasize investment and role of professional development;
- Fail to include the Keeping Students Safe Act, legislation that addresses the use of restraint and seclusion;
- Neglect the needs of students with gifts and talents.
Think you’ve heard this debate before? You’re correct, H.R. 5 is nearly identical to the legislation introduced over the last couple of years. (see here for more info)
Congressman George Miller (D-CA), the highest ranking democrat on the Committee, will issue an alternative bill which is more about putting forth the Democrat vision for ESEA rather than having any real chance of passing the Committee which has a republican majority. CEC is encouraged that Rep. Miller’s bill includes key protections for students with disabilities in the assessment and accountability systems.
Many in Washington have reflected that education used to be a bi-partisan issue – unfortunately, tomorrow’s markup looks like it will follow last week’s Senate education committee markup and pass on a strict party line vote.
Watch tomorrow’s markup live via webcast at 9am (EST) or stay tuned for an updated blog posting!