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ERIC Number: ED519170
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 58
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ESEA Briefing Book
Petrilli, Michael J.; Finn, Chester E., Jr.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
President Obama and congressional leaders have vowed to take action this year on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), most recently reauthorized and rebranded as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While most observers remain skeptical that everyone will actually see a signing ceremony in 2011, it does appear likely that at least one house of Congress will produce a bill. In this "briefing book," the authors identify the ten key issues that policymakers must resolve in order to get reauthorization across the finish line, and explore the major options under consideration for each one. The ten issues--which fall under the areas of standards and assessments, accountability, teacher quality, and flexibility and innovation--are these: (1) College and career readiness--Should states be required to adopt academic standards tied to college and career readiness (such as the Common Core)?; (2) Cut scores--What requirements, if any, should be placed upon states with respect to achievement standards (i.e., "cut scores")?; (3) Growth measures--Should states be required to develop assessments that enable measures of individual student growth?; (4) Science and history--Must states develop standards and assessments in additional subjects beyond English language arts and math?; (5) School ratings--Should Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) be maintained, tweaked, or scrapped?; (6) Interventions--What requirements, if any, should be placed on states in terms of rewarding and sanctioning schools and turning around the lowest performers?; (7) Teacher effectiveness--Should Congress regulate teacher credentials (as with the current Highly Qualified Teachers mandate) and/or require the evaluation of teacher effectiveness?; (8) Comparability--Should school districts be required to demonstrate comparability of services between Title I and non-Title I schools, and if so, may they point to a uniform salary schedule in order to do so?; (9) Flexibility--Should the new ESEA provide greater flexibility to states and school districts to deviate from the law's requirements?; and (10) Competitive grants--Should reform-oriented competitive grant programs, including Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, be authorized in the new ESEA? For each of these questions, the authors offer their own recommendations. These suggestions are meant to point federal education policy in the direction of what they have termed "Reform Realism": a pro-school reform orientation leavened with realism about what the federal government can and cannot do well in K-12 education. Ten steps to a better ESEA are appended. (Contains 3 tables and 22 footnotes.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress