“Not only is there consensus about the need to fix No Child Left Behind, but there’s also remarkable consensus about how to fix it,” Alexander said in the GOP’s weekly address.
 
“That consensus is this: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement,” he said.
 
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Alexander argued No Child Left Behind’s complicated set of educational standards is causing “anxiety and confusion” in school systems nationwide.
 
He blamed his fellow lawmakers for repeatedly failing in attempts at reforming the legislation.
 
“No Child Left Behind expired in 2007 but Congress has been unable to agree on how to reauthorize it,” Alexander said. 
 
“As a result, the law’s original requirements have stayed in place and gradually become unworkable,” he said.
 
Alexander said the law’s Common Core academic standards, teacher evaluation rules and standardized testing are now flummoxing 50 million children across 100,000 public schools.
 
“How well our children are learning is much more important than any political game,” he said.
 
“If fixing no Child Left Behind were a standardized test, Congress would have earned a failing grade for each of the last seven years we couldn’t agree to fix it,” Alexander added.
 
Alexander touted his proposed Senate bill fixing the law’s flaws.
 
“Our bill will help states improve their early education programs, evaluate teachers if they would like, and expand high-quality charter schools – but it will not tell them how to do it,” he said.
 
“Our bill also prohibits the federal government from telling states what their standards must be, or mandating or coercing them to use a certain set of standards,” he added.
 
“In other words, whether your state adopts Common Core is entirely your state’s decision,” Alexander said.
 
The House narrowly voted 218-213 to reauthorize No Child Left Behind on Wednesday.
 
The Senate is working on a potential reform bill next week.