Editor's note: Politics K-12 reports that House and Senate negotiators have reached a preliminary compromise on reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. Many details have yet to emerge, but it sounds like the Senate bill prevailed, with a few key changes.
We'll have more analysis when the complete bill is released, but preliminary thoughts from Mike and Checker are below.
As the contours of an ESEA deal become clear, the country has much to celebrate. This bill, if enacted, will finally turn the page on the No Child Left Behind act, a law with the right impulses and some clear impacts, but one that badly needed an overhaul. This compromise delivers it.
The bill will turn significant authority back to the states, where, under our Constitution, it belongs. This will take the federal boogeyman off the backs of education reformers nationwide, and will put governors and state legislators back in the driver's seat on accountability, teacher policy, and much else.
Yet the bill also maintains important transparency provisions, especially the requirement for annual testing in grades three through eight, so that parents and the public can continue to get key performance information by which to know whether schools are improving and serving all students well.
By continuing to promote reform, but also demonstrating a realistic view about what the federal government can and cannot accomplish, this bill is aligned to the principles of what we've called "reform realism." It's a balanced, bipartisan approach, and it deserves to be signed into law.
In an era of political schism, gridlock, showboating and finger-pointing, it's truly wonderful to see this stellar example of actual legislative craftsmanship. Hats off to my old friend Lamar Alexandar, Senator Patty Murray, their House counterparts and their terrific staffers for working this thing out in praiseworthy fashion--and even more so for their insistence that it needed to be worked out.