WASHINGTON, D.C. – Advocating long-needed reforms to “No Child Left Behind,” the nation’s K-12 education law, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today joined House leaders to rally support for The Student Success Act, legislation which supports more effective teaching by reining in the federal government’s sometimes burdensome role in schools.
During a visit to Washington D.C.’s Two Rivers Public Charter School, Rep. Roby joined House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Committee on Education and the Work Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) to illustrate how offering educators the flexibility to innovate can improve student achievement.
“Politicians have tried for decades to fix our schools with a ‘Washington-knows-best approach,’” Rep. Roby said. “But this top-down scheme hasn’t improved student achievement, and our schools are bogged down in more federal mandates and red tape than ever before.
“Teachers, principals, superintendents and parents I talk to all agree: one size does not fit all when it comes to education. They are frustrated with endless regulations and red tape from Washington, and they need relief to be able to do make sure students are getting the instruction they need. The Student Success Act repeals burdensome mandates like ‘AYP,’ and returns more authority back to the states.
“There are some amazing things happening at Two Rivers School. For me, it just demonstrates what can happen when we get government out of the way and give our educators the flexibility to innovate. Alabama currently doesn’t have charter schools, and that’s a policy choice only the state can make. However, I believe all public schools can benefit from the flexibility charter schools enjoy; flexibility which the Student Success Act offers.”
H.R. 5, The Student Success Act, seeks several reforms to current education law, including repealing the “Adequate Yearly Progress,” or “AYP” mandate that has frustrated educators in Alabama and around the country. The Student Success Act replaces AYP with state-determined accountability systems, thus returning authority for measuring student performance to states and school districts that are better equipped to respond to unique local needs.
The bill also repeals federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements, and directs states and districts to develop teacher evaluation systems that measure an educator’s influence on student learning. Additionally, the legislation consolidates existing K-12 education programs into a new Local Academic Flexible Grant, which provides long-needed funding flexibility to states and school districts to support local priorities that improve student achievement.
H.R. 5 is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives as soon as this week.
Reforms included in The Student Success Act are:
· Protecting state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom
- The Student Success Act prohibits the Department of
Education from inappropriately influencing state decisions
to adopt certain assessment or curriculum standards.
·Returning responsibility for student achievement to local leaders
- The Student Success Act repeals the burdensome
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) from the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 and replaces it with state-determined
accountability systems, thereby returning authority for
measuring student performance to states and local
·Consolidating federal government programs
-The Student Success Act consolidates myriad existing
K-12 education programs into a new Local Academic
Flexible Grant, which provides funding to states and
school districts to support local priorities that improve
·Supporting local efforts to measure teacher effectiveness
- The bill repeals federal “Highly Qualified Teacher”
requirements and directs states and districts to develop
teacher evaluation systems that measure an educator’s
influence on student learning. Under the Student Success
Act, these evaluations must be locally developed
and implemented within broad parameters that factor in
student achievement, incorporate multiple measures, and
include feedback from all stakeholders.
·Creating funding flexibility
- Instead of having to comply with a host of federal
program requirements dictating exactly how special funds
may be spent, under the Student Success Act, state and
local officials will be able to use federal funds to meet their
own unique needs. While school districts will not be allowed
to use Title I funds outside of those schools, they can
move additional funding to low-income schools.
· Encouraging parental involvement
- The Student Success Act maintains the current requirement
that states and school districts issue and distribute annual
report cards, but streamlines the data reporting to
ensure meaningful information is easily available to
parents and communities, and includes a provision that
nothing in the law should be interpreted to impact state
laws on parent exercise of authority over low-performing schools.