U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline, R-Minn, introduced draft legislation Friday that would reauthorize and reform No Child Left Behind.
The legislation is split into two pieces: the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers. Generally, they would diminish the federal role in education and shift much responsibility back to the states.
"I'm pleased to release draft legislation that will change the status quo and put more control into the hands of the teachers, principals, superintendents and parents who know the needs of children best," Kline said in a statement. "This is not final legislation. It is a step forward in the ongoing debate on the best way to improve education in America."
The Student Success Act, which addresses testing and accountability, contains some similarities to a bill that passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in October. According to a summary provided by Kline's office, some of the provisions in the bill include:
- Requiring states to establish academic standards that apply to all students and schools in reading and math, but remove federal requirements for basic, proficient and advanced levels of achievement
- Requiring annual assessments in reading and math, but eliminates federal requirement for assessments in science. Maintains requirement to desegregate data for test results.
- Eliminating the Adequate Yearly Progress system and asking states to develop their own accountability system and intervention strategies for struggling schools.
- Providing schools with flexibility in how to spend federal funding.
- Limiting federal funding authorizations to the level passed for fiscal year 2012.
- Removing "maintenance of effort" requirements for states and school districts.
The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act focuses on such issues as teacher evaluations and school choice. According to a summary provided by Kline's office, some of the provisions in the bill include:
- Setting parameters for teacher evaluation systems: make student achievement a significant factor; use multiple measures of evaluation; have more than two rating categories; make personnel decisions based on evaluations; seek input from parents, teachers and others in developing evaluation system.
- Consolidating many teacher quality grant programs into a new Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant. States and school districts can use money to: develop alternative certification and licensing programs; recruit, hire and retain effective teachers; implement performance-based pay scales and other incentive pay; create teacher advancement and other career paths, provide additional professional development opportunities.
- Creating a Local Academic Flexible Grant, which allows states and school districts to develop programs based on their own priorities. States must put 10 percent of that money for programs outside the traditional public school system, such as private or charter schools.
A full summary of the two bills can be found in the documents below.