Let’s avoid a repeat of the Common Core adoption process by Congress
We know that Rep. John Kline of Minnesota and Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee have been working feverishly on changes in some of the language in the No Child Left Behind Act for a re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Kline and Alexander are apparently finished with hearings, about which the media have told us very little. We know little about what is in the draft bill that is to go to the floor of Congress in late February and why this re-authorization bill is being rushed through the legislative process even faster than were Common Core’s mathematics and English language arts standards before they were adopted by state boards, commissioners, or superintendents of education in 2010.
Indeed, I was told by a staffer for the Education and Workforce Committee (where the re-authorized bill is coming from) on Wednesday morning, January 28, 2015: “We are moving extremely quickly on the reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB. So quickly in fact that we will not be holding any more hearings on it before the bill will be up on the Floor, likely the last week of February.”
Here’s the link to the draft bill. http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=336871. And here’s the link to the network of communications about this bill.
http://edworkforce.house.gov/studentsuccessact/. I looked under Hearings and could not find any hearings on annual state testing (which continues to be required) or on teacher quality issues.
One of the claims of the sponsors of this bill is that it empowers parents. But I could not find hearings in which parents or teachers gave testimony about any aspect of NCLB or Common Core tests.
The re-authorization of ESEA is moving much too fast. Parents and teachers are being left in the dust. Parents and teachers should show civic participation at its best. They might contact Rep. Kline’s and Sen. Alexander’s offices in DC. I suggest telling them something like:
The last thing parents and teachers want is a re-authorization of ESEA that locks in Common Core’s standards and tests. We ask Rep. Kline and Sen. Alexander, and all Republicans and Democrats in Congress, to request departments, boards, secretaries, and commissioners or superintendents of education in every state to hold public meetings and discussions on this proposed bill in every school district before any vote on it. Otherwise, we will repeat the non-transparent adoption of Common Core’s standards and tests.