The U.S. Senate today voted to improve current education law and shift the focus away from testing and punishing schools so educators can do what they do best—help students learn. The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, which passed the Senate today 81-17, allows time for students to learn and ensures educational opportunity for every child.
“Educational assessments should not simply involve a high-stakes test or other solitary factor, but rather should include meaningful and valid data as well as reported gaps in resources, support, interventions, programs, and other indicators of school quality. These indicators should include factors such as: advanced coursework; numbers of fully qualified teachers, paraprofessionals and specialized support personnel; high-quality early education programs; health and wellness; and arts and athletics,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen.
The Senate’s new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) now heads to a congressional conference committee. The House of Representatives passed its own ESEA bill last week, and the conference committee will negotiate differences and present a bill to both chambers.
“While there is still room for improvement, this legislation is an important step in the right direction,” said Cohen. “We look forward to the conference committee’s reexamination and revision of certain key provisions including Senator Burr’s Title I amendment.”
An analysis by the Center for American Progress shows that approximately 58 percent of low-income students nationwide would receive less funding under this provision. Connecticut would lose $18 million in Title I funds for children in high-poverty schools.