RALEIGH – In the first major education bill we’ve seen in the last decade, the U.S. House passed a bill last Friday that would undo many of the federal guidelines set in No Child Left Behind.
The bill is called the Student Success Act. It gives states back control over curriculum, standards and how to spend money on schools with low-income, disabled or non-English speaking students.
But Mark Jewell, vice president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, says the Student Success Act also gives schools less federal funding, which could hurt vulnerable student populations.
“Those would be resources that are desperately needed here in North Carolina that would provide valuable dollars for our most vulnerable students,” Jewell says.
Jewell says that the NCAE is in favor of the bill’s provisions to give more control back to the states, saying that it is not wise to try and run a school district in North Carolina from Washington, D.C.
“We do believe that the local school districts, and the state as well, should have some oversight as to how those dollars are spent,” Jewell says.
The Student Success Act is widely regarded as a re-write of the No Child Left Behind legislation, which the NCAE has criticized, saying it relies too heavily based testing to measure student achievement.
“That’s where we have to make sure that this new bill comes out and it does not penalize students based on the pass-fail model, but on the growth of how much they’ve increased from the year before,” Jewell says.
The Republican-backed bill has already been approved by the U.S. House, with members voting largely on party lines. The Senate could take up its version of the bill early this fall.