Educators welcome bill to create greater opportunity for every student to succeed


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By Brian Washington

Thanks to your hard work and activism on behalf of students, the U.S. Senate has given final approval today to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the federal education law commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind.

The legislation, which has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, is expected to be signed by President Obama before the end of the week.

For more than 14 years, students and educators have lived with the unintended consequences of NCLB. However, ESSA will usher in a new era in public education—one that will ensure all students have equal opportunity to a high-quality public education regardless of ZIP code.

Educators will have a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their students and classrooms,” said Utah educator and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia in a statement issued following the Senate’s passage of the bill.

“This legislation begins to close the opportunity gaps for students by providing a new system that includes an ‘opportunity dashboard’ with indicators of school success and student support. Not only does it reduce the amount of standardized testing in schools, but it decouples high-stakes decisions and statewide testing so students have more time to develop critical thinking while educators do what they love — inspire a lifelong love of learning.

We applaud the U.S. Senate for listening to educators and getting the job done for students. We commend Congress for putting students and educators ahead of politics especially in an era of political gridlock. We urge President Barack Obama to swiftly sign the bill into law.

SEND YOUR LAWMAKER A “THANK YOU!” Now is the time to contact your Members of Congress and thank them for their support.

Want to know why educators support the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177)? Click here and find out!


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