My Position on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

I just sent the following email to Senator Lamar Alexander of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee regarding the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the most recent version of which is No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

Senator Alexander, why the rush? This ESEA reauth is following the same fast-track as Common Core, and that is a wreck that can only benefit education business.

NCLB was also a wreck– an unattainable, punitive international embarrassment.

Test-driven “reform” only begs to be exploited even as it bankrupts schools of both money and time. 

Are you trying to cement Common Core into ESEA? You should consider that the language “college and career ready” sounds good but that even the testing consortia, Smarter Balanced, cannot manage to operationalize the term without turning it back in on Common Core.

I wrote about it here.

There is too much of a federal hand intruding on state autonomy. For that reason, I ask that you sunset ESEA. When Johnson began ESEA in 1965, he tried to be careful that the federal government would not overburden states with federal requirements in assisting states with the burden of poverty on the American classroom. It looks like your 400 rushed pages will only burden states and erase state control over education as you write in that money follows the student.

Time to curb the federal role.

ESEA is 15 years off track and has been punishing American public education since it became NCLB.

ESEA is no longer helping us.

Please sunset ESEA and NCLB.  Instead, consider block grants without federal puppetry via federal rules that cripple state functioning.   

Thank you for your time.


–Mercedes Schneider

  Louisiana public school teacher, author, and        blogger

The deadline to submit your views to the Committee is February 2, 2015. You may write to the following email:

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