Education is Back in Your Hands, Arizona
That’s why Congress has reauthorized ESEA numerous times over the last five decades, including in 2002 when the law became known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This week, Congress voted – and I supported – another reauthorization for an additional four years. While the program is secure in the short term, I worry it won’t survive the Republican Party’s increasing efforts to undermine our public education system in the long run.
It was clear in March of this year that the education legislation the GOP was pushing in the House was a reauthorization in name only. The so-called Student Success Act, or H.R. 5, intentionally dismantled our 50 year commitment to help our nation’s most vulnerable children. It removed federal accountability for our nation's schools by ending the requirement that states set high standards for students to be college and career ready. School districts would no longer need to demonstrate learning growth for English language learners and would have lower teaching standards for students with disabilities. Instead of viewing failing students as the greatest challenge for our education system to overcome, the GOP’s bill left kids behind and relieved states of the responsibility for closing achievements gaps.