Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Executive Vice President for Policy Carmel Martin issued the below statement following the release of the Every Child Achieves Act, a draft proposal from Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, or HELP, Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Murray Patty Murray (D-WA) to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. The Committee is scheduled to mark up the legislation on Tuesday, April 14:
With the bipartisan release of the Every Child Achieves Act, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray have improved the original discussion draft released by the chairman to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The bill eliminates the harmful portability provisions that would have drained resources from our neediest students and schools. It requires school accountability systems to incorporate all students in all schools. It addresses concerns about the overemphasis on high-stakes tests by allowing for more holistic school accountability systems while also ensuring that parents and other stakeholders have information about how their students are performing through statewide annual assessments in core subjects.
The bill, however, represents a missed opportunity to ensure that all students can succeed by failing to invest in preschool and perpetuates resource inequity by failing to address our unfair school funding system. It eliminates virtually all obligations for states and school districts to intervene and provide support to schools with large achievement gaps or their lowest performing schools. And finally, it does nothing to create incentives for states and school districts to examine their assessment systems to eliminate harmful, duplicative, or low-quality tests.
Recognizing that this is just the beginning of a long road to reauthorization, it is imperative that the HELP Committee work to improve the bill and better serve the interests of all students.
Click here to see CAP’s recent work on the reauthorization of the ESEA.
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