Alexander: Unanimous Committee Passage of Bipartisan Agreement to Fix No Child Left Behind Shows Consensus on Urgent Need to Fix the Law and How to Fix It

Says “if senators were students in a classroom, none of us would expect to receive a passing grade for unfinished work—7 years is long enough to consider how to fix No Child Left Behind”

Posted on April 16, 2015

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 “The consensus that the committee found is the same that Senator Murray and I found. That consensus is this: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement.” – Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16 – Senate education committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today praised the work of the committee in acting on the bipartisan agreement to fix No Child Left Behind. After three days of amendment and debate, the committee voted unanimously to send the bill to the full Senate.  

Alexander said: “If senators were students in a classroom, none of us would expect to receive a passing grade for unfinished work. Seven years is long enough to consider how to fix No Child Left Behind. The committee considered 57 amendments, approved 29, and improved the bipartisan agreement Ranking Member Murray and I reached—but the consensus that the committee found is the same that Senator Murray and I found. That consensus is this: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement. 

“I thank Ranking Member Murray for her hard work and her commitment to getting a result, and I look forward to working with her as this moves to the Senate floor. Now the bill is ready to be taken up by the full Senate with the same opportunity for amendment, discussion, and debate.”

Last week Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a bipartisan agreement on fixing “No Child Left Behind.” The senators’ legislative agreement, the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the chief law governing the federal role in K-12 education. The most recent reauthorization of ESEA was the “No Child Left Behind Act,” which was enacted in 2001 and expired in 2007.

Click here to read Senator Alexander’s opening statement at the start of Tuesday’s committee action on the agreement.   

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