Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, September 07, 2015

Republicans Repackage No Child Left Behind

With their current historic majority in both Houses of Congress, there is a new opportunity for Republicans to dismantle the 50-year failure of bad education policies. Unfortunately, Republicans are once again on the verge of just rebranding No Child Left Behind with new optimistic slogans such as “Student Success Act” in the House and “Every Child Achieves Act,” in the Senate. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has been touting the Every Child Achieves Act as a bipartisan “consensus about how to fix [education].” The claim that ECAA is somehow a “fix” for No Child Left Behind is laughable. It is foolish to say that it gets rid of Common Core. While it makes a great show of disavowing the name Common Core, Lamar’s bill continues the standards and testing mandate that Common Core was designed to force on students.

The Every Child Achieves Act will indirectly reinforce federal control by requiring states to force testing on students whose parents want to opt them out. The schools often punish students whose parents opt them out of the common core tests. In New Jersey, 9-year-old Cassidy Thornton was humiliated to tears when she was excluded from her classmates’ end-of-year cupcake and juice-box party when her mother opted her out of Common Core tests. Cassidy’s mother called it bullying, but the school defended its decision to reward test-takers because federal rules require 95% of students to be tested.

The Republican-controlled Congress has the ability to put control of the classrooms back in the hands of parents and communities. Unfortunately, Establishment Republicans are instead choosing to renew the standards and testing mandates of Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush. Make sure that your legislators know that Americans do not want more federal control in our classrooms.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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