The Student Success Act would reauthorize and modify programs under Title I of ESEA. Included in this bill are the English Language Learner program (presently Title III of ESEA), Migrant Education, Neglected and Delinquent, Indian Education along with the traditional Title I, part A program, and ESEA’s general provisions section (presently Title IX of ESEA).

The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act would reauthorize the Title II, Charter School, Magnet School, and Impact Aid programs. In addition, this bill creates a new block grant which authorizes states and schools districts to conduct a number of the activities that were formerly funded through programs repealed by H.R. 1891.

Summary of Major Provisions

Student Success Act

  • Maintains standards and annual testing in math and reading; no longer makes science standards and assessments mandatory.
  • Maintains current school report cards, including reporting on current subgroups, and expands reported information. Adds reporting for all public high schools in each state on the adjusted cohort graduation rate and the results of teacher evaluations conducted under Title II.
  • Eliminates 2014 proficiency deadline and does not establish a new similar deadline.
  • Eliminates Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs).
  • Allows states to develop their own non-federally defined process to identify lowest performing schools.
  • Allows states 6 years to adopt and implement their standards, assessments, and accountability systems.
  • Ends specific interventions required in current law for schools that do not make AYP, including school improvement, corrective action, restructuring and the current requirement and 20% set aside for supplemental educational services and public school choice.
  • Allows states and districts to determine their own interventions for schools.
  • Permits states to establish alternative standards for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities with no restrictions on how many students can be assessed under these standards.
  • Allows transfer of funds into Title I and not out of Title I.
  • Eliminates all current state set -sides related to school improvement and replaces them with a new 10% set-aside for school improvement activities.
  • Maintains separate English Language Learner, Indian education, Migrant Education, Rural Education and Neglected and Delinquent authorities funded out of a unified authorization of appropriations for all Title I programs.

Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act

Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness

  • Requires states or school districts to develop teacher evaluation systems which must include student achievement data as a “significant” part of the evaluation and requires that personnel decisions be based on such evaluations.
  • Limits use of funds for class size reduction to 10% of funds.

Parental Engagement and Local Flexibility

Consolidates various programs (including 21st Century Community Learning Centers) into a new block grant for states to award competitive grants to partnerships that include a school district and a community-based organization and/or a private sector business and must focus on projects that include:

  • Supplemental student support activities, such as after-school activities, tutoring, and extended day, but not including athletics or in-school learning activities; and
  • Classroom support activities, such as academic subject specific programs, adjunct teacher programs, and parent engagement, but not including activities to support smaller class sizes, construction, or to provide compensation or benefits to teachers, school leaders, or other school officials.
  • Establishes a 10% set aside for private sector initiatives instead of the Administration’s i3 program.
  • Charter School, Magnet Schools, and Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) programs are maintained as separate programs.

 

As the various bills potentially move forward, NAESP will continue to put forward an advocacy agenda based on the following principles.

  • Protect the unique and critical role of principals. NAESP believes the reauthorization of ESEA and implementation of new state and local strategies provide an opportunity to ensure that educational policies recognize the critical role principals play in improving results for all children and that such policies support what we have learned about improving student achievement and turning around low-performing schools. NAESP will continue to advocate for common sense reforms to misguided federal policies that may have adversely impacted principals.
  • Promote the principals’ vision for education reform. NAESP believes there must be a new vision for education that positions decision-making, and fair, accurate accountability back at the school level to ensure better results for all children. Research has proven that principals are second only to teachers among school-related factors contributing to student learning. Principals have a strong effect on student achievement because they ultimately create the conditions and cultures that encourage effective teaching and learning environments and shape initiatives that continually improve schools. Thus, federal policies and reforms must better recognize school-based authority, grant principals autonomy, and better support effective instructional leadership.
  • Preserve the principalship through high-quality professional learning opportunities. Unfortunately, education policies and practices fail to prioritize principal professional development. For example, only 3 percent of Title II funds under ESEA are specifically used for principals. While a small amount of professional development funds are targeted toward principals at the federal, state, and local levels, more must be done to ensure that principals receive job-embedded, ongoing access to the high-quality professional learning they need to drive student achievement and school success. Specifically, NAESP believes that elementary school principals should receive opportunities for professional development in early childhood education, quality mentoring of new school principals, and ongoing professional development for experienced principals.