GOP-only No Child rewrite passes House

House Republicans have passed a No Child Left Behind revision called the Student Success Act — with no Democratic support, reports Education Week.  Schools would have to test students and report scores by subgroups, such as English Learners, special education students and low-income students. However, “states and school districts would get a lot more say on how they hold schools accountable” for students’ progress.

That has advocates for some school districts (including the American Association of School Administrators) pretty happy. But civil rights organizations, the business community, and urban districts are not on board. More on what’s in the bill and who likes and hates the bill here.

The Student Success Act no longer requires school districts to use student outcomes to measure teacher effectiveness. Now it’s optional.

The bill “walks away from low-income students and students of color and threatens to wipe away 40 years of educational progress,” charges Education Trust.

Bipartisan compromise is very unlikely. The likelihood of reauthorization before 2015 is roughly 2 to 3 percent, estimates Rick Hess.

Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s “completely partisan and very different” NCLB rewrite passed the Senate Education Committee with no Republican support, notes Ed Week.  Furthermore, “it’s unclear if the Obama administration, which has its own waiver plan, even wants a reauthorization.”

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  1. The politicians and educrats need to realize that it’s ridiculous to demand proficiency of all, because it’s impossible at any meaningful level beyond the ability to breathe. At any significant level, some will fail. Look at the current situation; demanding increased HS grad rates means more “grads” who can’t read their diplomas. NCLB was always a fantasy, in that respect.

    • Yes, but the context is of an education system in which the proficiency of *any* is unimportant.

      Whether the graduates have learned anything or graduate as dumb as stumps is immaterial to those hired to teach them and those hired and elected to oversee those hired to teach.

      The widely-held, and just as widely unquestioned, assumption is that those hired and elected to oversee public education have an intrinsic motivation ensure that kids get educated. Perhaps that was true once although human nature hasn’t changed in historical times but it’s clearly true no longer. To whatever extent intrinsic motivation drove an effective public education system those days came to an end some time ago.

      So the question then is, if not an extrinsic motivator like NCLB, and in the absence of an intrinsic motivator, where’s the motivation to impel the professionals and politicians to pursue educational excellence?

      • Mike in Texas says:

        You mistake is failing to realize lots of people have intrinsic motivation.

        • A piercing insight indeed.

          If only I thought I was as smart as you’re sure you are. But I’d have to think the world revolved around me and I don’t. Poor me. Lucky you.

          Not so lucky you though when it comes to a return of the blessed apathy upon which the public education system depends to avoid public scrutiny. It just seems sometimes that hardly a minute passes without some state legislature somewhere passing a law that sets your teeth on edge.

          Now why don’t you run along and play to your strengths by feeling sorry for yourself.

          • Mike in Texas says:

            My smarts come from 20 years of experience, Allen.

            Apathetic I am not. Do you have any thing else besides questioning my ability?

          • So, no good response. Typical.

            Fortunately what you see as clever, and would result in a bright twelve year-old rolling their eyes, has zero impact on the political fortunes of the public education system.

            The public’s lost faith with the public education system and that loss of faith is observable in all the legislation that’s been passed that you so hate.

            Too bad.

            Get used to it because there’s more on the way.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Thing is, if we don’t know some are failing–because they’re hidden in the aggregate numbers–there’s less outside pressure to do something about it. And “something” might work. Even a little.
      Now that I think about it, premature writing off might result in diversion of resources and cause a worse end state than otherwise.
      I suppose the original motivation behind NCLB is to show a good faith effort to help the underachievers, not pretending they don’t exist because their scores are averaged with the NMS and NHS kids. If the good faith effort doesn’t work, that’s one thing.

  2. Mark Roulo says:

    In *theory* the Republicans are in favor of smaller government. Is just killing NCLB with an ax and going back to letting the states be in charge of K-12 public education one of the options they are considering? The Democrats don’t seem to like NCLB, so I’d think just ending it would be fairly easy.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      Killing NCLB with an ax would leave lots of federal involvement in education. The feds were handing out lots of money before 2001 and requiring the states to do lots of things to get any of that money.

      In the words of AEI’s Rick Hess,

      2) Those R’s who want the feds “out” of K-12 schooling really need to be consistent and call for zeroing out IDEA, Title I, and the rest. Since they have no intention of doing that, they need to recognize that responsible federal lawmakers absolutely ought to insist on some transparency about academic outcomes and how the federal money is spent. And, like it or not, some federal language governing use of funds is going to be inevitable.

  3. Mike in Texas says:


    It must be an interesting fantasy world you live in. Parents all across the country have caught on to the scam NCLB is and its real purposes. Teachers, some of them late to the game, have caught on too. I of course knew it was a scam from the beginning.

    I’d offer you some websites to look at but of course I already know how allergic you are to facts.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      Mike, I’d be interested to know what aspects of NCLB you think make it “a sham.”

      • Mike in Texas says:

        Roger, let’s start with the most obvious:

        100% passing, every child, every test, by the year 2014.