Farewell, NCLB, We Won’t Miss You

Diane Ravitch's blog

The House-Senate conference committee overwhelmingly (39-1) endorsed an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind, which was the latest (and worst) revision of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The new ESEA, which still must be approved by both houses of Congress, is called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The ESSA limits the federal role, a direct rebuke to Arne Duncan’s belief that he was the national superintendent of schools. The law retains a large chunk of George W. Bush’s legacy, including annual testing, a practice not found in any high-performing nation. The law no longer requires teacher evaluation by test scores.

The Republicans wanted to restore state and local control, while the Democrats ironically defended Bush’s accountability emphasis. The outcome is a compromise.

Most everyone seems to have forgotten that the original purpose of ESEA was equity for the neediest students, meaning federal dollars to high-poverty schools…

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