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ERIC Number: EJ913038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-19
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Renewed Push on ESEA Likely
Klein, Alyson
Education Week, v30 n17 p1, 18-19 Jan 2011
A prominent and sustained White House push for renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is viewed as crucial to prospects for the 9-year-old law's reauthorization by a now-divided Congress. The law's current version, the No Child Left Behind Act, was President George W. Bush's signature domestic achievement when it was passed in late 2001 with big, bipartisan majorities. Now it is considered outdated by practitioners and policymakers from all parts of the political spectrum. Last March, the Obama administration released a blueprint for overhauling the ESEA, and even proposed $1 billion extra for K-12 education if Congress approved the proposal. But while lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate met regularly last year to discuss a renewal, neither chamber introduced a reauthorization bill. With Republicans now in control of the House, and Democrats divided on what changes should be made to the law, the importance of a full-court press by the White House may be even greater. President Barack Obama briefly called for an ESEA renewal in his State of the Union Address last year, but did not make it a focal point of the speech. On the day the blueprint was released, he made a bid for overhauling the law in his weekly radio address, but the ESEA never became a regular part of his stump speech. Although most education advocates think a high-profile pitch from the White House would provide momentum for the ESEA this year, any legislation to reauthorize the law faces a bumpy road, in no small part because of divisions within each party on the best direction to take on federal K-12 policy. And it is unclear to what extent Republican leaders--who share common ground with the administration on issues such as teacher quality--will want to work with Mr. Obama on education. The ESEA blueprint the Obama administration rolled out last year sought to tie teacher evaluation in part to student test scores, and to give states more control over how to help schools improve student progress, while adhering to a stringent set of strategies for the schools that are struggling most. It also called for states to get students ready for college or a career, as distinguished from just bringing them to proficiency on tests. Even without a revision of the ESEA, the administration has been able to push much of its K-12 agenda through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal economic-stimulus program, which provided some $100 billion for education. In particular, the $4 billion Race to the Top competition spurred states to embrace more uniform, rigorous standards and revise their charter school laws, as well as revisit teacher tenure and evaluation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009; Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top