EdWeek reported last week that House leadership could resurrect their No Child Left Behind reauthorization bill, the Student Success Act, as early as this week.
Months after Republican leaders in Congress yanked a GOP-backed Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization off the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives amid sinking support from their own caucus, they appear poised to call it up again.
As early as next week, according to sources, the Student Success Act could be brought to the floor under a new rule that allows members to vote on three new amendments in addition to final passage of the bill.
The momentum comes after a difficult three months of whipping the bill which began losing support from Republicans after the Club for Growth and Heritage Action—two powerful conservative lobby organizations—announced their opposition to it. The groups warned that if members voted in favor of the measure, it would count against them in a scoring rubric the organizations use to rate which members are most faithful to conservative principles of the GOP.
Among other things, the groups wanted to see provisions in the bill that would have pulled the federal government out of education entirely and would have allowed federal funds for low-income students to follow students to the school of their choice, including private schools.
Some members wanted to address those priorities by offering amendments like the proposed A-Plus Act, which lets states opt-out of accountability altogether, and others that deal with Title I portability. However, the rules committee, which decides how bills are debated on the House floor, did not allow members to offer such proposals when the bill was first debated back in February.
The Hill reports that Congressman Ryan Costello (R-PA) in a speech on the House floor last Wednesday called for the House to pick the bill back up and that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said it may return to the floor this month.
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) took to the House floor to call for a vote on the measure.
“We need to continue our work on this bill,” Costello said. “We owe it to our colleagues who have worked for months on the bill and underlying policy.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) indicated in a memo that the measure may return to the floor this month, but didn’t specify a date.
The Student Success Act has numerous problems as we have reported before and it needs to be severely amended (better yet totally scrapped). The Senate has their own version of a NCLB reauthorization called “Every Child Child Achieves Act” which Emmett McGroarty of American Principles Project and attorney and parent activist Lisa Hudson point out at TownHall.com is every bit as bad as the Student Success Act.
They state the Senate bill targets the Opt-Out movement.
It maintains the requirement that a state submit a comprehensive education plan. It keeps the testing requirements. A state must still have an “accountability system” that includes as a “substantial” factor student performance on standardized tests. It does try to lessen the teach-to-the-test pressures by allowing the state to determine “the weight” of the tests in the accountability system. But this will not alleviate such pressures. It’s like saying, “We’re going to beat you with a wooden bat, not a metal one.”
Moreover, under the NCLB reauthorization bill, each state must demonstrate that it will measure “the annual progress of not less than 95 percent of all students.” Unfortunately, to do so, states will likely increase pressure on administrators, teachers, principals, and parents for students to take the tests.