Kline’s ESEA Push Again Puts Focus on States’ Rights

In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, reiterated his goals for ESEA Reauthorization. Saying that NCLB has failed to meet the needs of students, Kline expressed his support for the ideas proposed in the Student Success Act. He also called out Secretary Duncan and the Obama Administration for overstepping their roles in state education.

Key points

  • NCLB is a failed law: “…a one-size-fits-all federal accountability system hampers innovation and limits the ability of states and school districts to address their students’ needs. Outdated teacher quality measures fail to adequately capture how well teachers teach, and a massive investment of taxpayer resources has done little – if anything – to change the trajectory of student achievement levels.”
  • Waivers breed uncertainty and bypass Congressional authority: “Instead of working with Congress to replace the law, the Obama administration has spent the last several years offering states temporary waivers from the law’s most onerous requirements if states agree to new mandates dictated by the Secretary of Education. Congress wanted to provide relief, yet the administration said, ‘You can have relief, but only with strings attached.’ Now states and schools are tied up in knots.”
  • The federal push for adopting Common Core has led to backlash against the government: “What began as a voluntary effort at the state level to improve education standards has led to a broader revolt against federal overreach into our classrooms. I support a state’s right to determine what its education standards will be.”

In addition, Kline outlined his goals for improving access to higher education and improving the college graduation rate.

Read Chairman Kline’s remarks.

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Education Policy