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ERIC Number: ED510801
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Don't Leave Accountability behind: A Call for ESEA Reauthorization
Alliance for Excellent Education
As 2010 unfolds, Americans should feel encouraged by federal, state, and local efforts to transform education policies that boost student performance. In the midst of a recession, rather than merely allocating billions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars by formula to the states with no strings attached, the Obama administration has tied much of the funding to significant reforms. At a time of serious state budget shortfalls, this federal money has motivated many states to advance policy changes and assemble ambitious plans they hope will win them potentially hundreds of millions in additional federal funding under the ARRA's Race to the Top Fund (RTT). Through ARRA, there is also new funding available for the preexisting School Improvement Grants (SIG), providing state and local officials with extra resources to turn around low-performing schools. Furthermore, without federal funds or mandates, states are coming together to develop common academic standards to help ensure that students are educated to high levels, aligned with the demands of college and the twenty-first-century workplace, regardless of where they live. These promising efforts will have limited long-term impact and risk undermining accountability if they continue to be pursued without updating and improving the bedrock of federal education policy--the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, the current version of which is known as the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB). This paper describes four distinct reasons ESEA reauthorization is necessary to support long-term reform and ensure strong accountability for student outcomes and improvement: (1) NCLB and ARRA have inconsistent accountability goals and measures that send mixed signals to educators and parents and have the potential to confuse local administrators and increase bureaucracy at the state and federal levels; (2) While ARRA's programs rightly prioritize the "lowest"-performing schools, too many other low-performing schools and students do not receive attention and support; (3) There is limited accountability for states' implementation of ARRA requirements; and (4) The NCLB accountability framework needs to be updated to recognize the transition to higher, common standards and improved assessments while maintaining accountability for results. Appendices include: (1) Current Landscape of Accountability for Federal Funding; and (2) Definition of Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools. (Contains 26 endnotes.)
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001