Every Child Succeeds Act PassesBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on December 15, 2015 in Science Education Videos, What Makes A Great Teacher?
Every Child Succeeds Act has was approved in a unanimous 22-0 vote by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on December 8th, 2015. The bipartisan bill is set to replace the controversial No Child Left Behind law and reduce the amount of power the federal government holds over schools. Critics of NCLB felt it offered too much power to the federal government in deciding how to improve schools deemed as failing, while also placing too much emphasis on schools based on student test scores. The Every Child Succeeds Act will still have standardized tests, which will include testing in reading and math each year for grades three-eight, and once in high school. Additionally, three science tests will be required between grades three and 12. Under the new act the scores will no longer carry any weight for punishment of “failing” schools that receive federal funding for low-income children (Title I etc.). The new bill will allow states to create their own accountability systems and determine how much weight to place on test scores. Additionally, other measures of student and school success will be determined by individual states to offer a more accurate description of how well a school is doing. Highlighted specifics within The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 include:
- Let states develop accountability systems.
- Maintains important information for parents, teachers, and communities.
- Helps states improve low-performing schools.
- Strengthens state and local control.
- Supports one percent assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
- Improves peer review process.
- Maintains reporting of disaggregated data.
- Affirms state control over standards.
- Helps states support teachers (by providing high quality induction programs, ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers, and more).
- Ends federal mandates on evaluations, allows states to innovate.
- Helps states support English learners.
- Requires community-based needs assessments to better target funding.
- Affirms state responsibility for supporting the coordination and implementation of high-quality programs and initiatives.
- Updates and strengthens school programs to include:
- High Quality Charter Schools
- Facilities Financing Assistance
- Replication and Expansion
- Prioritizes grants to evidence-based magnet school programs.
- Supports rural schools.
- Supports programs for American Indiana and Alaska Native students.
- Updates the Impact Aid formula.
- Improves Maintenance of Effort requirements.
- Prohibits federal government from imposing additional requirements on states seeking waivers.
- Ensures homeless students have access to critical supports to improve school stability.
- Ensures that federal funds may be used for early education programs. To include allowing schools, and school districts to spend ESEA dollars to improve early childhood education programs, these provisions apply to various titles including Title I and Title II which provide support for teachers and school leaders, and Title III (programs for serving English learners). I’m especially excited about the realization that early childhood teachers and administrators need long-term sustainable quality professional staff development.
Being in classrooms and schools as a self-employed science education consultant/ teacher trainer I can see the positive impacts the changes that have been set forth in The Every Child Achieves Act will have on communities throughout our nation. When it comes down to it, individual states and the communities that encompass them are well-aware of the changes that need to be made in order to provide quality educational experiences for all students.
For detailed information about The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 check out the Act here.