Message to ESEA conferees: Do what’s right for our neediest students


September 15, 2015

By Nina Rees and Charles Barone


From yesterday’s op-ed in The Hill’s Congress blog:

US National Capitol
US National Capitol

The U.S. House and Senate have passed separate bills reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Soon, conferees from the two houses will try to hammer out a final agreement to send to President Obama. As they do so, they should insist on a strong federal hand in helping our nation’s neediest students.

That will take some work. The bills that passed the House and Senate dramatically scale back the federal role in holding states accountable for raising student achievement. This is an understandable reaction to what many lawmakers, educators, and parents saw as the overly prescriptive nature of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But it would be a mistake to use disgruntlement over NCLB as a whole as an excuse to abdicate any and all federal responsibility to make sure we do what works to help students who are stuck in the country’s worst schools.

Read more at The Hill.