What happened with ESEA last week?

The reports are in. Here’s a sample of the reaction.

Monty Neill writes that the Senate’s biggest change in ESEA will be the name:

Unfortunately, despite intra- and inter-party disagreements, inside-the-Beltway politicians appear to remain wedded to NCLB’s failed approach to improving schools — massive over-testing and overreliance on test scores to judge.

Alyson Klein details the odd pair-up behind some of the winning amendments in her Ed Week blog:

Debate over the measure has also created some strange political bedfellows.

A draft version of the measure released Oct. 11 by Sen. Harkin, would have called for states to craft teacher evaluations that took into account student achievement. But that provision was scrapped at the behest of committee Republicans, who said it would amount to a federal mandate of what should be a state and local issue.

The GOP priorities jibed with those of the National Education Association, a 3.2 million member union, which also saw the provision as a federal intrusion.

The NEA also saw eye-to-eye with the GOP on another change to the bill, which passed with bipartisan support during committee consideration. That provision, sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander, would permit states to submit their own ideas to the U.S. secretary of education for turning around the lowest-performing schools.

One of only three HELP committee Republicans to vote yes on the final package, our Senator Mark Kirk may have responded to our outreach to him throughout the week!


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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.