The ESEA Reauthorization Conference Report Is Now Public

Photo credit: Rob Crawley (CC-By-2.0)
Photo credit: Rob Crawley (CC-By-2.0)

The conference report for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called the Every Student Succeeds Act, has been made public.  It is 1,059 pages long and Congress is somehow supposed to throughly vet this bill and vote in two days.  This is simply not acceptable.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee puts a positive spin on the bill.  They claim:

  • Prohibits any agent of the federal government — including the secretary of education — from incentivizing, forcing, or coercing states into adopting Common Core, or interfering with a state’s standards or assessments.
  • Rejects policies and programs the secretary has used to coerce states to adopt Common Core, including waivers of K-12 education law and Race to the Top.
  • Prevents the secretary from imposing additional burdens on states and school districts through the regulatory process in areas of standards, assessments, and state accountability plans.

First, as it relates to Common Core, this bill is like slamming the barn door shut after the horses have already run out. The damage has been done.

Second, the bill still requires state plans and gives the Secretary of Education enormous authority to approve or disapprove them which in reality negates the claims that this bill do anything to help states get rid of Common Core.

Third, this bill expands early childhood funding and thus federal strings into pre-school.  The bill’s language still reflects a change in No Child Left Behind’s application to “all public elementary school and secondary school studentswithall public school students.”

Fourth, this bill still contains a testing mandate and the opt-out amendment that was added to the original House bill has been stripped out.

Let your voice be heard, contact your member of Congress today!

You can read the bill for yourself below or download here.

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