Three Education Acts

Three Education Acts

I have read the summaries of three federal education acts. I have included the URL so you can download a copy of the summary if you want. I am providing my recommendation to support or not support each act. For some acts I make mention of some, but not all, of what the act allows or provides for. This is not exhaustive by any means and only includes those things of most importance and interest to me. You may have a different opinion.

H.R. 2218 Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act

The Student Success Act

Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act

H.R. 2218 Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act

http://edworkforce.house.gov/UploadedFiles/HR_2218_Bill_Summary.pdf

Currently, under ESEA, competitive grants have been awarded states or charter school developers to provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools, and support the financing of charter school facilities. H.R.2218 will streamline and modernize the Charter School Program to support the start-up, replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools; streamline program funding and administration at the federal and state levels; and promote choice, innovation, and excellence in education.

Recommendation: Do not support. The federal government should not be promoting, supporting, or funding charter schools in any manner. This should be left entirely up to the states without influence of any kind from the federal government.

The Student Success Act

http://edworkforce.house.gov/UploadedFiles/The_Student_Success_Act_Summary.pdf

This act supports the protection of state and local autonomy and limits the authority of the Secretary of Education. This act would end the school improvement grants (SIG) that created and funded four unproven and ineffective turnaround models. This act does away with AYP and repeals federal requirements for highly qualified teacher designation.

Secretary’s Authority: The bill protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom and limits the authority of the Secretary of Education. The legislation: (1) prevents the Secretary from creating additional burdens on states and districts through the regulatory process, particularly in the areas of standards, assessments, and state accountability plans; (2) prohibits the Secretary from supporting efforts around state standards and influencing and coercing states into entering partnerships with other states; and (3) outlines procedures the Secretary must follow when conducting a peer review process for grant applications that will bring greater transparency.

Recommendation: Support. This could be better but it is a move in the right direction.

Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act

http://edworkforce.house.gov/UploadedFiles/The_Encouraging_Innovation_and_Effective_Teachers_Act_Summary.pdf

The majority of the issues addressed in this act are ones the federal government should not be involved in. Many of these issues should be left to the states to address as they see fit. This act calls for making student achievement data a significant part of teacher evaluations. I do not support the use of student achievement data to evaluate teachers. While it sounds great, this is not a reliable way to evaluate teachers. Various reports and questionable research may recommend this but the solid research related to this issue does not recommend this practice. I am okay with this data being used to evaluate schools and districts. This act also calls for performance-based pay. I have been aware of a push for this for more than 25 years and have yet to see a plan or a plan in place that will work in the education arena, especially with teachers.

Recommendation: Do Not Support. Some of the issues in this act should not even be proposed or addressed. Many issues addressed in this act should be left entirely to the states without influence of any kind from the federal government.

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