As we anticipated in this post before the holidays, House Republicans abandoned bipartisan talks on legislation to reauthorize ESEA and released their own bill, completing a series of measures that began early last year. The “Student Success Act” and the “Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act” were released—not yet introduced as formal pieces of legislation—on Friday. The Committee may formally introduce the bills in the coming weeks, after lawmakers and the public have a chance to review the legislation and provide feedback.
An initial review of the bills reveals several developments NAESP supports, including:
- Maintaining current school report cards and expanding reported information;
- Abolishing the 2014 proficiency deadline and not establishing a new similar deadline;
- Eliminating Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs);
- Terminating the federally prescribed School Improvement Grant program, along with the provision that principals must be fired as an automatic first step in the four “models” of improvement;
- Permitting states to develop their own models of school improvement;
- Allowing states 6 years to adopt and implement their standards, assessments, and accountability systems; and
- Eliminating caps to assess the most severely cognitively disabled students.
However, the spending cap in Title II for class size reduction initiatives is of concern, and the legislation has glaring omissions, including:
- A lack of recognition of the crucial role principals play in boosting student achievement;
- Failure to link meaningful professional development opportunities to effective school leadership; and
- A lack of consideration for effective principal evaluation systems.
NAESP's advocacy team is dissecting the legislation and will be compiling a detailed summary. In the meantime, click here for an overview of the legislation.