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Lawmakers push officials on No Child Left Behind rewrite

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Lawmakers are pressing administration officials to begin implementing the education reforms that replaced the controversial No Child Left Behind law.

At a hearing on Thursday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce heard from an Education Department official on plans to put into place the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) praised the act, signed into law in December, saying it would leave education decisions in the hands of state and local officials.

{mosads}“If we learned anything throughout the process to replace No Child Left Behind, it’s that the American people are tired of Washington micromanaging their classrooms,” he said.

He said the act would reduce the federal role in education and give states more authority over accountability, teacher quality, and school improvement to communities.

The Every Student Succeeds Act passed the House and the Senate last year in overwhelming bipartisan votes and was signed into law by President Obama in December.

It replaces the No Child Left Behind law from 2002, which created controversial standardized testing requirements mean to ensure students were academically proficient and hold teachers accountable.

John King, acting secretary of the U.S. Department, assure lawmakers that federal officials would respect local decisions in implementing the law.

Some lawmakers expressed concern for the new law’s effect on disadvantaged students, who they said were hurt by the stringent standards of No Child Left Behind.

“The law maintains dedicated resources and supports for students from low-income families, students with disabilities, English learners, Native American students, foster and homeless youth, and migrant and seasonal farmworker children,” King told lawmakers.

He added that the Education Department is working with civil rights groups and school districts to identify their concerns.

“I have no greater responsibility than supporting their efforts to ensure that all children, regardless of where they live or their background, receive the education they need to succeed in school and in life,” he said.

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