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Rhetoric of ‘Bipartisan’ Every Student Succeeds Act Can’t Mask Its Federal Control of Education

Establishment Washington Republicans could not say enough this past week about how the 1,061-page Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reduces the federal government’s role in education and that it eliminates the fed’s coercion of states to stick with the unpopular Common Core standards. Perhaps most significant to these Republicans is that the bill was a self-proclaimed model of “bipartisanship.”

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Republican House Passes NCLB Rewrite With Support From Nancy Pelosi, Liberal Groups

During floor speeches, Republican lawmakers claimed the bill “reduces the federal role” in education – even though it extends federal oversight of education to formally include pre-school instead of only grades K-12. They also say the measure would stop the federal government from coercing states to implement the Common Core standards – a point that is hotly debated by conservative activists who say the bill actually cements the Common Core further.

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Transparency? NCLB Rewrite Draft Won’t Be Finalized Until Two Days Before Lawmakers Vote

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization bill was approved by a conference committee – by a vote of 39-1 – after just several hours of “conference.” But the bill will not be published in final form for lawmakers and parents to read until November 30 – just two days before it is voted on in the House on December 2. As Indiana parent Indiana parent Erin Tuttle says, “House members will be forced to vote on a bill they haven’t read. The American people expected a new style of leadership under Speaker Ryan, not more of the same.”

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Congress Begins Conference on No Child Left Behind Rewrite

On Wednesday, a congressional conference committee kicked off the effort to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—amid the concerns of many conservative parents, who would prefer to see education taken out of the hands of the federal government and back into those of the individual states and local school districts.

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Lamar Alexander’s No Child Left Behind Rewrite Will Not Rein in Federal Control of Education

Senator Lamar Alexander falsely claims his No Child Left Behind Reauthorization bill, labeled the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), will rein in the federal government. Like its House counterpart, ECAA has superficial “prohibitions” on what the U.S. Secretary of Education may do. Those prohibitions merely replicate existing prohibitions and, in any event, lack any kind of enforcement mechanism for the states.

AP Photo/Jessie L. Bonner

No Child Left Behind Rewrites in House and Senate Draw Intense Criticism From Grassroots

The House’s version of the redo, known as the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), was pulled from the House floor by GOP leadership in late February after it was determined the measure lacked sufficient support. Grassroots parents’ groups – many that have been fighting against the Common Core standards in their states – voiced their concerns that the Student Success Act still required excessive federal intrusion into the right of states to set their own education policies.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Lamar Alexander’s NCLB Rewrite Bill Could Be Win for Obama Administration

Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) rewritten draft legislation that would reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will likely not allow Title I dollars for low-income children to follow them to schools of their choice, an outcome that would be a win for the Obama administration.