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No Child Left Behind fix clears committee

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Senators advanced a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act Thursday, bringing lawmakers one step closer to a long-sought overhaul of the Bush-era law.

{mosads}The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously passed the update, which gives more authority to states and local school districts.

The bills’ markup spanned three days of debate and the consideration of 57 amendments. In the end, 29 were approved, including one from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that bolsters resources for high-ability students.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the committee, praised its work, saying that “seven years is long enough to consider how to fix No Child Left Behind.”

“If senators were students in a classroom, none of us would expect to receive a passing grade for unfinished work. … [The] 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.”

The Every Child Achieves Act is moving through Congress quickly, having been introduced by Alexander and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) just last week.

It would require states and local districts to create “accountability systems” to ensure that students are successful, including meeting federal minimum standards. Under the proposal, the federal government cannot determine or approve a state’s standards.

The legislation also renews the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which helps oversee K-12 education.

Tags Chuck Grassley Lamar Alexander Patty Murray

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