Found in Education: NCLB Out (sort of)

In case you missed it, the House of Representatives voted to end No Child Left Behind and replace it with a new policy, Every Student Succeeds Act.  No Child Left Behind, more commonly known as NCLB, is the controversial version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) implemented under the George W. Bush administration.  The ESEA began during the Johnson administration in the 1960s as part of his "war on poverty."




This latest version of the ESEA, Every Student Succeeds, will keep the familiar testing regime from NCLB.  Missing from this version of ESEA is the connection between federal funding and testing outcomes.  Under NCLB, districts and schools that did not meet the target goals for student outcomes could be penalized and lose federal funding.  The other big change is putting more control over accountability in the hands of the states, a big win for conservatives who want to limit the federal government.  There is a danger in this new law of reduced support for low-income and minority children.  Some states did not support these students until forced to by the federal government.  Under the new law,  states will be less accountable.  

Cartoon courtesy of http://teacherreadermom.com/2014/02/26/de-stress-the-test-2/
Every Student Succeeds has support from conservatives to increase states' rights. Teachers unions support the end of No Child Left Behind, which is primarily seen as a negative effect on classrooms.  The law looks poised to pass.  There is strong support in the senate, and Obama has already declared that he will sign off on it.  

What will the impact of this new law be?  My guess is little.  Change is slow, and with testing still a big part of the education focus, it is unlikely to have a large impact.  Additionally, much of the U.S. has adopted the common core standards, which also are having an impact.  And finally, states have their own testing systems that continue.  

Found in Education (F.I.E.) is a weekly blog post on education policy, teaching tips, products, and stories related to education that I find over the week.  See something I should know about? Please send your ideas.  Comment here or leave me a message on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, or at the store.

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