The No Child Left Behind Act may be changing after all.
Congress is looking at a draft reauthorization proposal that calls for changing several parts of the law, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Under the proposal, which was released by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the following changes would be made:
- Adequate Yearly Progress, and the sanctions against schools failing to meet targets, would be scrapped.
- Instead of requiring states to have a certain percentage of students meeting standard in reading and writing, the new law would require states to show students are making continual progress.
- States would be required to set college and career ready standards (this would also be accomplished through the national Common Core standards states are adopting)
- Students would still be tested, but there would be no 2014 deadline on having all students proficient in reading and math. Testing could be done once a year or several times throughout the year for diagnostic purposes.
- States would be required to create teacher evaluation systems
- States would identify the lowest performing 5 percent of schools and do targeted interventions in those schools. High schools with graduation rates below 60 percent would also be targeted.
- States would still report on progress of students in various subgroups (minority students, special education, English language learners, etc)
- Codify the Obama administration’s education programs: Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhood.
The act was up for reauthorization in 2007, but it hasn’t been changed or reauthorized yet. Educators across the country have long said the bill is promising in theory but doesn’t work well in practice due to the punitive nature.
The proposal is still in the early stages, and who knows how long it will be before changes are enacted.
For a detailed look at the proposal and what it means, read Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog.