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ERIC Number: EJ875701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb-24
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Committee Sets Sights on ESEA
McNeil, Michele
Education Week, v29 n22 p1, 20-21 Feb 2010
Congress plans to kick-start the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this week with the first in a series of hearings in a key House committee, where members pledge a "bipartisan, open, and transparent" process in rewriting the version of the law enacted under President George W. Bush. The finish line remains a long way off in a Congress bitterly divided over issues such as health care, hurtling toward the 2010 midterm elections, and still without a specific proposal from the Obama administration about how it would revise the ESEA, currently called the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Still, in announcing the hearings last week, leading Democrats and Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee declared that the NCLB act is "a law that we all agree is in need of major reform," and that the panel would "work to ensure an excellent education is available to every student in America." The process was scheduled to begin with a Feb. 24 hearing on an already introduced bill dealing with a topic on which Democrats and Republicans have come to share some common ground: charter schools. Yet the chances for a full reauthorization of the ESEA still appear uncertain. The politically poisonous atmosphere in Congress, which has contributed to a stalemate on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority--health-care reform--poses a mortal threat to any significant piece of legislation, such as the main federal education law. Congress is already getting bogged down in partisan debates over legislation to bolster jobs creation, and a bill to revamp the federal student-loan system. Complicating the situation are the logistics of a waning congressional schedule, especially as the midterm elections approach and members switch into campaign mode. After a Republican won a special election last month in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate, Democrats in that chamber no longer hold a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority, meaning that legislation may be even more difficult to pass. And finally, there are the substantive issues involved in a rewrite of the ESEA, including the fate of the current law's primary yardstick, known as adequate yearly progress (AYP); how schools would be held accountable; and whether and how successful schools would be rewarded. That's not to say there's no hope for passage.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001