Criticism Mounts for Weak NCLB Rewrite

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Ed Trust joined 20 other civil rights, disabilities rights, education reform, and business organizations last week in withholding support for the Senate’s new rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind. Ed Sector’s Kevin Carey summed up the group’s sentiment aptly and succinctly: “No bill is better than this bill.”

The woeful lack of accountability provisions in the bill has drawn strong criticism from both the media and organizations representing children. The Washington Post’s editorial board said “the bill’s allowing states merely to show ‘continuous improvement’ in student outcomes is a far cry from what is needed to ensure accountability for poor and minority students.” Other groups rejecting the bill include: Center for American Progress Action Fund, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Ed Trust also joined 10 other organizations in expressing dissatisfaction with the bill’s teacher provisions. That coalition — which includes groups like National Council on Teacher Quality, The New Teacher Project, StudentsFirst, and Teach Plus — wrote that the bill does too little to ensure that low-income students and students of color have access to their fair share of our strongest teachers. The joint letter adds that the schools serving these students shouldn’t be overstaffed by the weakest members of the profession.