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IPR Report - The Tug-of-War on Education

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IPR Report - The Tug-of-War on Education

  1. 1. Education Reform: The Tug of War between Local and National Control To: Dr. Doug Koopman By: Isaac Swanson 11/10/2015
  2. 2. 1 Introduction Undoubtedly, the topic of education has been in the view of the public for years. It has produced numerous questions that hold in the balance the cultivation of generations of students: what curriculum should be developed and how can governments and states close the educational achievement gap? Among these questions, the most important may be the debate over whether education should be locally or nationally controlled. On one side of the debate, states speak ill of federally mandated guidelines like the Common Core which design curriculum based off of what the federalgovernment defines as success. States also bemoan the seeming illegality of the government to create federally issued tests to determine if students are improving which disregards the states’ standards of improvement. Adding on to their list of grievances, states also wish to determine the effectiveness of an educator apart from required certification and also wish to use Title I funds as they want, not as the federalgovernment dictates. Yet, as the federal government notes, how can the nation hold states accountable to ambiguous phrasing like ‘continual improvement’ if it is not clearly defined? Though an educator may be effective, shouldn’t there be a certain measure of accountability educators are held to? Critically, if Title I funds are given to the states for spending as they deem fit, how can the nation be sure they are spending it on underprivileged students just as equally as privileged? The largely Republican partisan legislation in the Student Success Act covers all of these questions and more in this report. Accordingly, the policy goals this report will look for are the following: are the policy recommendations respecting state sovereignty, are they maintaining a respectable amount of accountability for states,and are they looking out for the least among us? Ultimately, this report’s policy recommendation seeks to maintain a position that both respects state sovereignty and accountability while looking out for the underprivileged who get lost in the reams of paper. As to the importance of this legislation, John F. Kennedy says it best when he states,“let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our Nation.”1 The Seeds ofNational Control over Education The origin of federalcontrol often begins with the implementation of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA). As stated by Charlotte Twight, writer for the Foundation for Economic Education, “the usual explanation of the NDEA is that it was a logical, necessary,and perhaps inevitable reaction to the Soviet Union’s successfullaunching of Sputnik I (the first earth-orbiting satellite).”2 During the Cold War period, there became a national urgency to showcase particular talents other nations did not have. Whether that revolved around sending the first man to the moon or the launching of the first living creature in space by the U.S.S.R. in a dog named Laika,3 both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were in a constant battle of outclassing the other. This mentality would bleed into education wherein the U.S. strived to produce students who could fight back the sickle with stars and stripes. Accordingly, the NDEA “established the legitimacy of federal funding of higher education and made substantial funds available for low-cost student loans, boosting public and private colleges and universities.”4 Under the guise of ‘defense,’ more national control was allowed to encroach upon largely local control. 1 John F. Kennedy: "Proclamation 3422 - American Education Week, 1961," July 25, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=24146. 2 Charlotte Twight. "Origins of Federal Control Over Education | Foundation for Economic Education." FEE Freeman Article. Foundation for Economic Education, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://fee.org/freeman/origins -of- federal-control-over-education/>. 3 Jennifer Latson. "The Sad Story of Laika, the First Dog Launched Into Orbit." Time. Time, 3 Nov. 2014. Web.10 Nov. 2015. <http://time.com/3546215/laika-1957/>. 4"Senate Historical Office." 1941: Sputnik Spurs Passage of the National Defense Education Act. U.S. Senate, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Sputnik_Spurs_Passage_of_National_Defense_Education_Act .htm>.
  3. 3. 2 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) also passed under the guise of something larger. Accordingly, the “education bill was portrayed as an essential component of President Lyndon Johnson’s ‘war on poverty’”5 in which Johnson “significantly expanded the federalrole in K-12 education. [Along with this,] the law’s signature program, Title I, was aimed at helping districts cover the cost of educating disadvantaged students.”6 Deemed as the educational savior for underprivileged students, some members in the House believed the act was serving more privileged students. “[A] House minority report showed the formula would result in almost twice as much money being given to the ten wealthiest counties in the U.S. ($8,918,087) as to the ten poorest counties in the nation ($4,507,149).”7 This strange distribution in funds was a result of federal government allowing funds to go to counties with at least 10-100 low-income students8 which resulted in a majority of counties receiving federalassistance of some sort. With the ESEA implementation in place, it would set up the central tenants of future legislative debate revolving around national and local control. Reagan and the Conservative Tug Though the Department of Education (1979) would create another branch of national control with a $68 billion dollar budget, President Reagan would fight hard in the 80’s to roll back federalpower. Critically, Reagan passed the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act (ECIA) in 1981 which renamed Title I of ESEA to a ‘Chapter.’ The retitling of Title 1 would bring about “significant reductions in federalaid and relaxed regulatory requirements [which] led to fewer eligible students being served.”9 As the New York State Archives would gather, “the ECIA cut federal aid to schools by more than $1 billion, or 15 percent,in its first year (1982-1983) and specified even larger cuts for the future.”10 Ultimately, Reagan would be remembered as a President who reduced aid programs to both save money and hand over the educational reigns to local control. National Control Strikes Back In both the 90’s and early 2000’s, President George Bush and Clinton began to establish more nationally controlled education. Accordingly, the 1994 Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) would serve as the launching pad for Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002. With respect to Clinton, Richard Riley, serving as the Secretary of Education at the time, voiced his reasoning for the IASA stating that “in an increasingly complex and diverse society and an economic environment that will be dominated by high-skilled jobs, today's students must meet high academic standards in order to succeed.”11 Thus,“ESEA programs now promote the alignment of all education components”12 In order to be a more competitive educational nation, Clinton would provide the impetus of nationally held 5 Charlotte Twight. "Origins of Federal Control Over Education | Foundation for Economic Education." FEE Freeman Article. Foundation for Economic Education, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://fee.org/freeman/origins -of- federal-control-over-education/>. 6 Alyson Klein. "The Nation's Main K-12 Law: A Timeline of the ESEA." Education Week. Education Week, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/the-nations-main-k-12-law-a- timeline.html>. 7 Charlotte Twight. "Origins of Federal Control Over Education | Foundation for Economic Education." FEE Freeman Article. Foundation for Economic Education, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://fee.org/freeman/origins-of- federal-control-over-education/>. 8 Ibid. 9Janet Thomas, and Kevin Brady. Review of Research in Education. “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act at 40.” Washington,D.C.: American Educational Research Assoc.,1990. Harvard.edu. American Educational Research Association.Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic460284.files/ESEA%20at%2040.pdf>. 10 "Federal Education Policy and the States, 1945-2009." State-Federal Education Policy, Historical Essay, Reagan Years. New York State Archives, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://nysa32.nysed.gov/edpolicy/research/res_essay_reagan_state_responsibility.shtml>. 11 Richard Riley. "The Improving America'sSchools Act of 1994." Archived Information. Department of Education, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <https://www2.ed.gov/offices/OESE/archives/legislation/ESEA/brochure/iasa-bro.html>. 12 Ibid.
  4. 4. 3 standards to assess student achievement. In his own drive to make an educational legacy, Bush enacted the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. Much like the IASA, the NCLB maintained that states “are required to test students in reading and math in grades 3–8 and once in high school.”13 Further, “NCLB required each state to establish state academic standards and a state testing system that met federal requirements” called the Adequate Yearly Progress.14 No longer did the federal government softly recommend nationally held standards for education; it now created rubrics by which students would be assessed on a yearly basis with the goal of reaching federally defined achievement in 2014. The Current Debate around Education Though President Obama has released waivers and education stimulus packages to the tune of 100 billion dollars in aid with the expectation that states will adhere to the president’s outline of educational requirements,15 there still is a large debate over education with the newest challenger in the legislative arena called the Student Success Act. Naturally, the war of opinions on either side of the platform will be discussed in-depth via the ‘mapping the debate’ section. With respect to the history of education, one thing has remained clear: as administrations have changed, so too has the rope of educational tug-of-war been pulled to either local or national control. Mapping the Policy Debate Sponsored by Congressman Kline, the Student Success Act ultimately did manage to pass the House with a vote of 218-213. However, the fact remains that those who voted in its favor were largely Republican making it a strongly partisan and very contentious bill. While both Democrats and Republicans agree that the ESEA and the NCLB Act are in need of serious reform, there persists a major divide on what that entails. The debate can roughly be broken down as follows: One, should states use federally funded Title I dollars at their choosing or can the federalgovernment dictate where that money is allocated Two, do the states or the federalgovernment better serve students through their educational models? Three, should teachers be measured by their certification alone or by other means? Lastly, there remains a range of opinions as to the nature of states’ sovereignty and their right to craft education. The next two subsections will cover all aspects of these debates as mentioned above. The Issue of Title I and Teacher Effectiveness Under the issue of Title I funds and portability, the common thread for states is that under current law, Title I funds restrict the level of monetary creativity states could use to assess students. Accordingly, “roughly 10 percent of all funding spent on K–12 education, the Department [of Education], largely through ESEA, determines policy, impacting everything from teacher certification, school assessment, and how much states must spend in order to access federalfunds.”16 In order to loosen the federal-choke hold, the Student Success Act would remove “all ‘Maintenance of Effort’ (MOE) requirements, allowing states and school districts to set their own funding levels for elementary and secondary education.”17 Thus, states could use Title I funding for new textbooks for example instead of rigid national testing. Federally, the issue with creative control over funds is the temptation of states to use the money for education on other items. Consequently, “states could use their education funds to fund tax cuts or 13 "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001." No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction,n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.k12.wa.us/esea/NCLB.aspx>. 14 Ibid. 15 Alyson Klein. "The Nation's Main K-12 Law: A Timeline of the ESEA." Education Week. Education Week, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/the-nations-main-k-12-law-a- timeline.html>. 16Lindsey Burke. "NCLB Reauthorization Proposals: Missed Opportunities for Conservatives." The Heritage Foundation.11 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/02/nclb- reauthorization-proposals-missed-opportunities-for-conservatives>. 17 Brad Thomas. "The Student Success Act Summary." (n.d.): n. pag. Edworkforce. House of Representatives. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_student_success_act_summary.pdf>.
  5. 5. 4 other non-education initiatives (like sports stadiums18 ) thus turning the ESEA into a glorified slush fund where politics would drive funding allocations.”19 Aside from the temptation of irresponsibility, states also face another temptation in not sharing federalfunds equitably. As Congressman Scott states,“the Center for American Progress found in its review of portability that districts with high concentrations of poverty could lose an average of $85 per student, while the more affluent areas would gain more than $290 per student.”20 Seemingly, the question becomes whether citizens value creative freedom of funding enough to risk the temptation of their local municipalities to use it either unfairly or irresponsibly. Also up for debate is the issue of defining what makes a teacher effective. Though teachers may appear to give off the image of being effective with an assortment of credentials, states say these credentials miss the mark of the effectiveness of a teacher within a classroom. Based on a new analysis of student performance, a Manhattan Institute report found that “little to no relationship exists between credentials and the gains that a teacher’s students make on standardized math and reading exams.”21 In fact,“upward of 97 percent of what makes one teacher more effective than another is unrelated to factors such as the number of years the teacher has been teaching and the credentials that the teacher has earned.”22 Thus, states will make the argument that the federally defined term of teacher effectiveness doesn’t take other key factors into account such as teachers’ levels of interaction with their students. Ultimately, labeling teachers as ‘effective’ by traditional means doesn’t solve the issue. Though “Rhode Island reported that 98 percent of its teachers were effective; Florida, 97 percent, [and] New York,96 percent,” student success rate was still abysmal and remained static.23 On the issue of effective teaching, federally there are two problems with the states’ conclusion. One, teachers cannot be effective if they do not have the adequate sources and funding. It should be kept in mind that if the legislation passed,it “would allow states and localities to reduce the overall amount they spend on education and the funding they direct to classrooms and teachers without losing a dime of federalresources.”24 According to the Obama administration, why not have “an additional $2.7 billion in ESEA programs and expand high-quality preschool, so teachers,principals and educators have the support and resources they need to help students succeed in the classroom?”25 Secondly, if no measure of effectiveness is defined, how can one accurately determine the education of a teacher? Though the teacher may be able to connect with students, have they done the same hard work they are requiring of their students? Following this thought, organizations like American Progress believe “states should be required 18 Statement of Policy. Albuquerque, NM: U of New Mexico Board of Regents, 1970. Whitehouse.gov.White House, 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr5r_20150225.pdf> 19 Bobby Scott. "Opposing the Student Success Act." Congressman Bobby Scott. House of Representatives,25 Feb. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/floor-statements/opposing-the-student- success-act>. 20 Ibid. 21 Winters, Marcus. "Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: Credentials Unrelated to Student Achievement." Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (n.d.): n. pag. Manhattan Institute.Manhattan Institute,Aug.2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/ib_10.pdf>. 22 Ibid. 23 Consider that “American students rank25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries” per a 2012 report by broadeducation. "The Broad Foundation - Education." The Broad Foundation - Education. The Broad Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://broadeducation.org/about/crisis_stats.html>. 24 "White House report: Investing in Our Future: Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College and Careers." Whitehouse.gov.The White House, 13 Feb. 2015. Web.02 Nov. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/13/white-house-report-investing-our-future-helping- teachers-and-schools-pre>. 25 Ibid.
  6. 6. 5 to develop and implement educator evaluation systems to ensure every student has access to a strong teacher.”26 Service to Students and State Sovereignty vs. Federal Accountability A big issue states have with national control of education is the deeply rooted opinion that they can better serve the needs of their students. As Neil McCluskey of the Cato Institute states,“national [and] political control of education is far too imprecise an instrument to deal with the unique needs of fifty states,thousands of communities, and millions of children.”27 Reasonably stated,if a parent was asked whether or not they trusted federalbureaucrats to educate their children over local educators and districts, they most likely would gravitate to the people who are in constant communication with them: local educators. States would argue they have an on the ground perspective the federal government just doesn’t have. The passing of the legislation would simply allow “states to create their own systems to assess school performance and empower parents and local education leaders with information to hold schools accountable.”28 Federally, the main issue of contention lay within three main points: One, the Student Success Act “undermines important federal protection for our nation’s students, particularly children of color; children living in poverty; children with disabilities; homeless, foster, and migrant children.”29 As Congressman Scott alludes to, Congress recognized the lack of attention given to underprivileged students was an issue and took action to fill those gaps. Secondly, nationally held education standards have actually shown signs of improvement. In fact,“The most recent long-term trend study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress,released in June 2013, showed that American students have improved their reading and math achievement since 1973.”30 Though progress has recently stalled per recent reports, it shouldn’t be seen as a sign to stop, but to invest even more resources into nationally held standards. Lastly, “the bill does nothing to ensure that state standards are rigorous enough to make sure students graduate from school, college and career ready.”31 In a world where a college degree is becoming more necessary for a comfortable means of living, state ambiguity surrounding attainment of basic pre- college readiness seems faulty. Briefly encapsulated, one of the main themes revolving around the Student Success Act is the matter of state sovereignty regarding education. Simply put, isn’t the matter of education a state issue to deal with? If the Student Success Act were to pass,it would “restore the rule of law, state flexibility, and 26 Melissa Lazarin. "The Student Success Act Is the Wrong Way Forward." Center for American Progress,18 July 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2013/07/18/70033/the- student-success-act-is-the-wrong-way-forward/>. 27 Neal McCluskey. "Fed Ed, by Every Other Name, Still Smells Rank." Cato Institute. 08 Apr. 2015. Web.26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.cato.org/BLOG/FED-ED-EVERY-OTHER-NAME-STILL-SMELLS-RANK>. 28 Rick Allen. "Rep. Rick Allen: Student Success Act Strong Step Forward in Restoring Local Control of Education : Congressman Rick Allen." Rep. Rick Allen: Student Success Act Strong Step Forward in Restoring Local Control of Education : Congressman Rick Allen. House of Representatives,8 July 2015. Web.10 Nov. 2015. <http://allen.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=107>. 29 Bobby Scott. "Opposing the Student Success Act." Congressman Bobby Scott. House of Representatives,25 Feb. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/floor-statements/opposing-the-student- success-act>. 30"Minority Views on Student Success Act." (n.d.): n. pag. Democrats Edworkforce. House of Repres entatives,11 July 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/sites/democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/files/documents/Minority%20Vie ws%20on%20H%20R%20%205_%20w%20signatures.pdf>. 31 Melissa Lazarin. "The Student Success Act Is the Wrong Way Forward." Center for American Progress,18 July 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2013/07/18/70033/the- student-success-act-is-the-wrong-way-forward/>.
  7. 7. 6 constitutional order” while subsequently allowing states “to chart their own course.32 ” Along with state sovereignty being respected,Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation maintains the federal government is already “prohibited in three federallaws…from directing standards, assessments,or curricula, along with a global prohibition on the federalgovernment directing or incentivizing the adoption of standards, assessments,and curricula.33 ” Cornell University Law School also adds an interesting point when it points out that although one government function is education, the states “have primary responsibility for the maintenance and operation of public schools.34 ” Federally, the issue with this logic is the lack of accountability in making sure states educate students fairly. Federally viewed, “the bill abandons accountability for the achievement and learning gains of subgroups of disadvantaged students35 ” who can get overlooked if not protected by a larger entity. Considering this, “it seems fair to ask states and districts that use federaldollars to drive school improvement to abide by some federal parameters.36 ” 32 Michael McShane and Max Eden. "Is the Student Success Act Conservative Enough? - AEI." AEI. American Enterprise Institute, 30 Mar. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.aei.org/publication/is-the-student-success-act- conservative-enough/>. 33 Lindsey Burke. "NCLB Reauthorization Proposals:Missed Opportunities for Conservatives." The Heritage Foundation.11 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/02/nclb- reauthorization-proposals-missed-opportunities-for-conservatives>. 34 "Education." LII / Legal Information Institute.Cornell University Law School, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/Education>. 35 "Oppose H.R. 5: Protect the Needs of Students." The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 10 Feb. 2015. Web.10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.civilrights.org/advocacy/letters/2015/oppose-hr-5.html>. 36 Melissa Lazarin. "The Student Success Act Is the Wrong Way Forward." Center for American Progress,18 July 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2013/07/18/70033/the- student-success-act-is-the-wrong-way-forward/>.
  8. 8. 7 POLICY CAMPS Policy Camp One: Strongly supports Student Success Act and is favorable to more local control of education. Policy Camp Two: Willing to compromise between both camps as long as Title I funding is federally controlled; flexibility on education being more locally controlled Policy Camp Three: Strongly against Student Success Act and is favorable to more national control of education EXECUTIVE BRANCH 1) Obama Administration 2) Department of Education SENATE 1) Lamar Alexander (R- TN) 2) Dan Coats (R-IN) 3) Deb Fischer (R-NE) 4) Al Franken (D-MN) 5) Lisa Murkowski (R- AK) 6) Cory Booker (D-NJ) 7) Bernie Sanders (I- VT) 8) Ben Cardin (D-MD) 9) Barbara Boxer (D- CA) HOUSE 1) Rick Allen (R-GA) 1) Bobby Scott (D-VA) 2) Virginia Foxx (R-NC) 2) Ann Kirkpatrick (D- AZ) 3) John Kline (R-MN) 3) Mike Thompson (D- CA) 4) Duncan Hunter (R-CA) 4) Cedric Richmond (D- LA) 5) Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) 5) Peter DeFazio (D-OR) 6) Bradley Byrne (R-AL) 6) Tim Ryan (D-OH) NON- GOVERMENTAL 1) The Heritage Foundation 1) American Federation of Teachers 1) Center for American Progress 2) The Cato Institute 2) National Education Association 2) Progressive Policy Institute POLICY CAMP STAKEHOLDER MAP
  9. 9. 8 POLICY CAMPS Policy Camp One: Strongly supports Student Success Act and is favorable to more local control of education. Policy Camp Two: Willing to compromise between both camps as long as Title I funding is federally controlled; flexibility on education being more locally controlled Policy Camp Three: Strongly against Student Success Act and is favorable to more national control of education 3) American Enterprise Institute 3) Teach for America 3) The Education Trust 4) The Brookings Institute 4) Council of Chief State School Officers 4) The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights OTHER 1) The Hill 1) Education Liberty Watch 1) U.S. News 2) Politico 2) Wall Street Journal
  10. 10. 9 POSITIONS Position One: The Student Success Act is enacted.Under this bill, local control of education will be restored allowing states to betterserve the needs of their own students while providing creativity with respect to Title I funding, teacher effectiveness,and allowing states to have their own measure of autonomy. Position Two: A compromise is reached through bipartisan legislation like the Senate approved Every Child Achieves Act. Though sacrifices will be made in keeping Title I funding federally maintained, states will have more flexibility with respect to education generally. Position Three: The Student Success Act is not enacted.If passed,there would be no measure of accountability as it relates to Title I spending,teacher effectiveness,and serving all students equitably. Ultimately, there must exist anotherentity apart from states to make sure things are just. LIBERTY: People should be free to do what they want unless their activity harms other people (120) Creative Freedom: Ultimately, the federal government cannot determine nationally defined standards of education because there is no way monolithically educate fifty unique states. Thus,Title I funding and all manner of creative freedom should be given to the states who know their students. (Allen, Foxx, Kline, Hunter, Curbelo, Byrne, Heritage, Cato, AEI, Brookings, The Hill) Freedom and Accountability: Allows states to have creative freedom pertaining to curriculums and teacher effectiveness among other things.However, the federal government maintains accountability of Title I funding ensuring all students are properly cared for. (Alexander, Coats, Fischer, Franken, Murkowski, Booker, Sanders, Cardin, Boxer, AFT, NEA, CCSSO, Ed. Lib Watch,Politico) ‘Do As Thou Wilt’ is not good legislation: If states have the liberty to spend federal funding on things they deem necessary,there exists a temptation for states to use it on unnecessary things (i.e. sports stadiums)and overlook underprivileged students.The federal government must make sure they are using resources within the educational realm. (Obama Ad., Department of Ed, Scott, Kirkpatrick, Thompson, Richmond, DeFazio, Ryan, U.S. News, Wallstreet Journal, CAP, PPI, Ed. Trust, Leadership Conf.) EQUITY: Same size share for everybody (44) States Know Students: Federally defined equality is not the same equality for a diverse range of students.Equality needs to be administered as each individual state sees fit. (Allen, Foxx, Kline, Hunter, Curbelo, Byrne, Heritage, Cato, AEI, Brookings, The Hill) Entrusting States with a Measure of Responsibility: Though states will not get to spend Title I funding as they see fit, they will get creative freedom with designing education. If done responsibly,more rewards follow. (Alexander, Coats, Fischer, Franken, Murkowski, Booker, Sanders, Cardin, Boxer, AFT, NEA, CCSSO, Ed. Lib Watch,Politico) Greater Chance of Injustice: Fifty different versions of equity give too much chance for injustice. An agreed upon set of criteria for equity can contain corruption and keep states accountable to an agreed upon equity. (Obama Ad., Department of Ed, Scott, Kirkpatrick, Thompson, Richmond, DeFazio, Ryan, U.S. News, Wallstreet Journal, CAP, PPI, Ed. Trust, Leadership Conf.) VALUES MAP
  11. 11. 10 WELFARE: Minimum requirements for biological survival (99) States Meet Students’ Needs: States understand the needs of students better than the federal government. Students needs are better served by local educators who know the context and location they have grown up in. Funds are re-allocated by local educators who understand where they need to be educationally. (Allen, Foxx, Kline, Hunter, Curbelo, Byrne, Heritage, Cato, AEI, Brookings, The Hill) Allowing Creativity and Accountability: There exists room for flexibility on the federal government’s part in allowing states to have the educational freedom they need to better serve their students while also making them responsible for sharing federal funds equally across the board. (Alexander, Coats, Fischer, Franken, Murkowski, Booker, Sanders, Cardin, Boxer, AFT, NEA, CCSSO, Ed. Lib Watch,Politico) No Accountability: States give no promise or any measure of conviction that federal funding will be equitably shared across the spectrum. Nationally, students’will be markedly less superior than their peers spanning other countries due to a lack of high-quality educational uniformity. (Obama Ad., Department of Ed, Scott, Kirkpatrick, Thompson, Richmond, DeFazio, Ryan, U.S. News, Wallstreet Journal, CAP, PPI, Ed. Trust, Leadership Conf.) EFFICIENCY: Getting the most output for a given input (67) Using Money Wisely: Accordingly, only states know where federal funding can best be spent because they live and breathe in the space of students on a daily basis. Money will not be wasted but used wisely in this sense.(Allen, Foxx, Kline, Hunter, Curbelo, Byrne, Heritage, Cato, AEI, Brookings, The Hill) Money both Wisely Spent and Responsibly Used: The federal government holds states accountable to spending Title I dollars on education alone, but allows creativity in the space of curriculum design and teaching. (Alexander, Coats, Fischer, Franken, Murkowski, Booker, Sanders, Cardin, Boxer, AFT, NEA, CCSSO, Ed. Lib Watch,Politico) Less Effectiveness Overall – A lack of funding leads to a lack of quality resources for students.Additionally, nationally agreed upon standards for teachers will reflect poor educating in the classrooms of the nation producing more unprepared college students.(Obama Ad., Department of Ed, Scott, Kirkpatrick, Thompson, Richmond, DeFazio, Ryan, U.S. News, Wallstreet Journal, CAP, PPI, Ed. Trust, Leadership Conf.) Policy Recommendation In summarizing what the Student Success Act would accomplish if passed, Congressman Kline and his education task force summarized the bill in an easily digestible manner:  Returns responsibility for student achievement to states,school districts, and parents, while maintaining high expectations  Provides states and school districts greater flexibility to meet students’ unique needs  Invests limited taxpayer dollars wisely  Strengthens programs for schools and targeted populations  Maintains and strengthens long-standing protections for state and local autonomy 37 37 Brad Thomas. "The Student Success Act Summary." (n.d.): n. pag. Edworkforce. House of Representatives. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_student_success_act_summary.pdf>.
  12. 12. 11 As Kline and most Republicans in the house maintain, the Student Success Act is ultimately good legislation because it takes away the overbearing “big brother” element from education. Ideally, it would be great to see diverse students’ needs educated by a diverse range of local educators working in unison together. However, there exists no sense of accountability in this system as it pertains to the Student Success Act’s requirement that federalmoney such as Title I be given to the states to do with as they please. In order to make things as full-proof as they need to be with respect to equitable funding, there needs to exist an entity outside of states that makes sure funds are both applied to educational resources and are used equitably. As the Center for American Progress states on its report of the portability option in the Student Success Act,it would result in “the poorest school districts [losing] more than $675 million, while the lowest-poverty districts would gain more than $440 million.”38 Consequently, “school districts with a poverty rate of more than 30 percent would lose money, while districts with a poverty rate of under 15 percent would see dramatic increases in funding.”39 Considering this evidence and a wide assortment of other opinions, this report has in mind the following recommendations:  Title I funding must remain in control of the federalgovernment to ensure states are spreading monetary resources both equitably and responsibly to all students. Additionally, the maintenance of effort clause should not be removed to further ensure “important fiscal protections of federal dollars.”40 However, there should be “additional flexibility for states and school districts to meet maintenance of effort requirements.”41  States have more educational freedom in the realm of measuring student achievement, creating curriculum, and administering performance tests thus allowing educators to “create lesson plans based on how their students perform, and if the state chooses to, use these tests to more accurately measure student growth.”42 As grassroots organizations such as Freedom Works indicate, “the ultimate goal of Common Core is to have every school district follow the same national standards”43 which would result in rigidly defined educational methodologies of curriculum and teaching that don’t meet the unique needs of students.  There must remain a maintained educational requirement of teachers. Though experience is critical with respect to teaching and may reap more long-term rewards in the future, there needs to be the presence of mind to hold teachers accountable to both high educational quality and nationally recognized certification guidelines. Before a teacher can make interpersonal relations and connect with their students, they must also know how to educate and teach their subject well. If diversity of teaching is an issue, states can rest easy knowing that universities and teacher certification programs will rear each teacher differently depending on the institutional philosophy. Additionally, research reports from institutions like the Center for Public Education indicate that “fifth-grade math students who had three consecutive highly effective teachers scored between 52 and 54 percentile points ahead of students who had three consecutive teachers who were least effective, even though the math achievement of both groups of students was the same prior to 38 Max Marchitello and Robert Hanna. "Robin Hood in Reverse." Center for American Progress, 4 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2015/02/04/105896/robin-hood-in- reverse/>. 39 Ibid. 40 The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (n.d.): n. pag. Senate.gov.U.S. Senate. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/The_Every_Child_Achieves_Act_of_2015--summary.pdf>. 41 Ibid. 42 Al Franken. "Al Franken | Senator for Minnesota." Floor Statement on Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. U.S. Senate, 9 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.franken.senate.gov/?p=news&id=3193>. 43 Julie Borowski. "Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Common Core." Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Common Core. FreedomWorks, 26 July 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.freedomworks.org/content/top-10-reasons-oppose- common-core>.
  13. 13. 12 entering second grade.”44 Though experience should remain important, there must also be a requirement of high educational teaching quality and certification.  The Senate inspired Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 must pass instead of the Student Success Act. Apart from being a bipartisan bill that has been largely accepted from both the Republican and the Democratic parties with “a vote of 81-17,”45 the bill is also in alignment with many of this report’s recommendations and serves asthe best chance to reformESEA and NCLB mandates by becoming law. Accordingly, the Every Child Achieves Act would “end the Common Core mandate, end the need for federalwaivers, end federaltest-based accountability, end national school boards, and allow states to decide important measures in their accountability standards.”46 Though “the current House and Senate bills would retain one of the law’s signature features ( annual testing in reading and math),”47 the Senate bill would still allow states to define annual testing and success based on their unique students’ population rather than a monolithic ‘one-size fits all’ model. If anything, the Senate bill serves as a much needed jolt to the dormant 13 year NCLB legislation that returns control to parents and communities “so that they can determine the best policies to ensure future generations will have the skills they need to succeed.”48 If these recommendations are followed, ultimately, they would aim towards an educational system that is kept in control locally with a few accountability measures left in the hands of the federalgovernment (teacher quality and federal educational funding). Notably, these recommendations most align with policy camp two in that it allows for a large measure of local control, but a responsible and non-overbearing accountability system with respect to Title I funding and teacher quality. In totality, they allow for a nice balance of responsibility and creative educational freedom that the other policy camps lack. Policy camp one is far too free with its educational powers; it risks the temptation to both spend federal money unwisely and inequitably while providing students with ill-equipped educated teachers. Policy camp three is far too status-quo and maintains a vice-like grip on forming education for a diverse range of learners. In sum, the initial policy goals this report outlined in the introduction are met in allowing the federal government to provide oversight in areas like teaching quality and funding while allowing states the educational freedom to design curriculums, administer tests,and design rubrics based on the specific needs of their student body. Thus, the purity of education can continue being taught to students in the never ending quest to shine light upon the dark corners of the mind. 44 "Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: Research Review." Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: Research Review. Center for Public Education, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Staffingstudents/Teacher-quality-and-student-achievement- At-a-glance/Teacher-quality-and-student-achievement-Research-review.html>. 45 Maggie Severns and Kimberly Hefling. "Senate Passes Education Bill That Shifts Power to States." Politico. Politico, 16 July 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/no-child-left-behind-senate- updates-120240>. 46 Coats, Dan. "United States Senator for Indiana Dan Coats." US Senator Dan Coatss.U.S. Senate, 16 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.coats.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/-coats-supports-every-child-achieves- act>. 47 Maggie Severns and Kimberly Hefling. "Senate Passes Education Bill That Shifts Power to States." Politico. Politico, 16 July 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/no-child-left-behind-senate- updates-120240>. 48 Deb Fischer. "Press." Fischer Lauds Passage of Every Child Achieves Act. U.S. Senate, 16 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.fischer.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news?ID=779cf27a-e835-425b-9669-35fe46afea40>.
  14. 14. 13 Annotated Bibliography NGO’s 1. Adameik, Erik. "Senate Guts School Accountability - Progressive Policy Institute." Progressive Policy Institute, 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.progressivepolicy.org/issues/senate- guts-school-accountability/>. In this piece written by Erik Adameik of the Progressive Policy Institute, Adameik looks at prior legislation similar to the Student Success Act that has ultimately not passed due to a weak intellectual foundation. Ultimately, Adameik’s bone to pick with legislation like the student success act is that it does not have any meaningful federal evaluations ensuring states are on the right track. Instead, these bills often charge “states to strive for continual growth” in vaguely defined terms which lead to no effective growth. Consequently, legislation like the Student Success Act lack a large amount of accountability to their processes. How will teachers,students, and district be evaluated? How do we know what success is if it has not been clearly defined? This will ultimately contribute to the policy report by way of showing the more liberal/federal approach to education. It clearly defines other bills that have not passed before which are in a similar vein to the Student Success Act,and fits well within policy camp one. 2. Burke, Lindsey. "NCLB Reauthorization Proposals: Missed Opportunities for Conservatives." The Heritage Foundation. 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/02/nclb-reauthorization-proposals-missed- opportunities-for-conservatives>. Lindsey Burke, author of this particular article for the Heritage Foundation, ultimately advocates for complete state and local control over education and is in favor of removing federally controlled regulations over the educational sphere. Much like Melissa Lazarin, Lindsey also proposes her own set of recommendations pertaining to more state controlled education. Firstly, Lindsey advocates for the A- PLUS program which allows states to opt out of the current No Child Left Behind federal legislation thus allowing states to choose how their own money is spent on educational matters. Secondly, Lindsey advocates for the elimination of federal grant programs and the streamlining of NCLB to save money. Thirdly, Lindsey also believes federally mandated testing should be removed in favor of states testing their own students per their own educational requirements. A single system of assessments would only make sense if, among other things, “there was a single best way for all students to learn, and we knew what it was.” This research was great in that it provided a necessary counter-punch to a more liberally minded federal approach towards education. Though it is in favor of state controlled education, this research material gives valid arguments for going towards a more conservative approach. This research fits in nicely with policy camp number two. 3. Burke, Lindsey. "States Must Reject National Education Standards While There Is Still Time." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/states-must-reject-national-education- standards-while-there-is-still-time>. Largely focusing on the conservative and locally controlled education perspective, Lindsey Burke makes severalkey points in this article that make a strong case for promoting legislation like the Student Success Act and any other legislation like it. To begin with, Lindsey states that initiatives like the Common Core have become a federally incentivized enterprise. Secondly, federally controlled education costs the American people a lot of money they would not need to spend if controlled by the states. Thirdly, national
  15. 15. 14 standards remove the control of education away from states. Fourthly, educational freedom would be put in danger if standards and testing were nationalized. Fifthly, Lindsey advocates for state leaders to prevent the imposition of national standards and states in their states. While extreme in her views, Lindsey provides great backup and research materialto address the various claims she makes throughout. The conservative viewpoint she posits is not lost, but rather strengthened through her research. As such,this material would fit well in policy camp two. 4. Dynarski, Mark. "The Student Success Act Is the Wrong Way Forward." Brookings Institution, 7 May 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2013/07/18/70033/the-student- success-act-is-the-wrong-way-forward/>. In this think-tank inspired piece by Mark Dynarski, he is essentially advocating for a reform bill that doesn’t just include assumptions about student success,but concrete facts backed up with evidence. Dynarski does not side with either more state or federalcontrol, instead, he looks at the argument from a more objective lens relating to more thorough research. In his estimation, stricter federal requirements on test scores and teacher evaluations does not make a system more effective. Simply put, new systems replace old systems that become wrote and routine. In order for new energy to be put into the system of education, Dynarski advocates for $10 a year on research for each low-income student to be devoted to research funds for finding ways to improve equity all around. In taking this stance,Dynarski looks over the problems of both state and federaleducational issues and tries to go at the heart of the student success act. This research is best used in the sense that it is not a viewpoint that rests on one extreme or the other. Rather,it takes a far different approach on the subject of the student success act and lies somewhere in between policy camps one and two. 5. Lazarin, Melissa. "The Student Success Act Is the Wrong Way Forward." Center for American Progress,18 July 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2013/07/18/70033/the-student- success-act-is-the-wrong-way-forward/>. In her opening statements, Melissa Lazarin states that “under the guise of strengthening local control over schools, the Student Success Act bargains away equity.” Lazarin strengthens her argument by listing numerous points throughout the article: first, the Student Success Act requires no accountability on the federallevel due to states making up their own measurements of success for districts, teachers,and students. Secondly, “the bill does nothing to ensure that state standards are rigorous enough to make sure students graduate from school college and career ready.” Thirdly, the bill allows for districts to allocate less money to higher-poverty schools and more money to affluent schools. With these remarks made, Lazarin establishes her policy recommendations which take on a more national approach to education. This resource was good in the sense that it provided a very heavy mindset towards federalist control over education. This research would best be utilized in policy camp one. 6. McCluskey, Neal. "Fed Ed, by Every Other Name, Still Smells Rank." Cato Institute. 08 Apr. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.cato.org/BLOG/FED-ED-EVERY-OTHER-NAME-STILL- SMELLS-RANK>. Neil McCluskey, advocating for a more extreme conservative approach, recommends “no federal education control whatsoever.” Invoking the constitution into his argument, McCluskey posits the notion that nowhere in the constitution does it say the federalgovernment should be allowed to take over nationwide education. Simply stated, “political control of education is far too imprecise an instrument to
  16. 16. 15 deal with the unique needs of fifty states, thousands of communities, and millions of children.” Adding further, McCluskey closes by stating that federalcontrol over government has seen no major rise of academic achievement and has cost the government substantially. This source is a great reservoir of information as it relates to policy camp two. Though extreme in its state control views, it does provide substantial research woven into the article that is worth noting. 7. McShane,Michael, and Max Eden. "Is the Student Success Act Conservative Enough? - AEI."AEI. American Enterprise Institute, 30 Mar. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://www.aei.org/publication/is-the-student-success-act-conservative-enough/>. Michael McShane and Max Eden of the American Enterprise Institute start off with the notion that “the only way states can save their schools (almost all of which are technically failing under NCLB) from federalpenalties is to do whatever the Secretary tells them.” Under these federalpenalties, the secretary of education and the administration has been able to implement practices like Common Core with little pushback from states because of the fear of losing its federalwaivers. Both Eden and McShane are ultimately for local control of education that “would restore the rule of law, state flexibility, and constitutional order.” However,both McShane and Eden share some reservations over the Student Success Act that require some tweaking. Regardless,it is clear for both that if legislation like the Student Success Act does not pass, it will only encourage the Obama administration to continue using waivers in order to dictate education policy. While both McShane and Eden don’t completely agree with the Student Success Act and all of its points, they do agree with a sizable measure of more local control being awarded to states as it relates to the management of education. This being the case,this particular research fits well within policy camp two. 8. "Oppose H.R. 5: Protect the Needs of Students." The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <http://www.civilrights.org/advocacy/letters/2015/oppose-hr-5.html>. In highlighting its main point throughout, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights purports that the passing of the student success act overlooks critically undervalued students in the nation. Specifically, the student success act does this by lacking “accountability for the achievement and learning gains of subgroups of disadvantaged students.” Aside from these issues, the bill also “eliminates goals and performance targets for academic achievement; removes parameters regarding the use of federal funds to help improve struggling schools; and fails to address key disparities in opportunity such as access to high-quality college preparatory curricula” among other things. In its most critical failing, the student success act uses concepts like portability to divert funds from high poverty schools and undermines the critical targeting of Title I schools. This research material’s greatest strength is that it uses substantive arguments to back up its more liberally centric approach towards national education. Due to its strong use of arguments that fit within the federal side of the debate,this research would best be identified with policy camp one. 9. "Press Release."The Education Trust. The Education Trust, 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <https://edtrust.org/press_release/statement-from-the-education-trust-on-the-student-success-act- h-r-5/>. In this advocacy letter written to Congress by the Education Trust, it explains two major reasons why House Representatives should not vote for the Student Success Act. The first major reason the advocacy groups states is that by passing the student success act,there is no form of accountability on states “to set clear goals for improving student performance, including faster progress for the groups of children at the heart of federallaw.” Pushing this particular point further, the Education Trust posits that states have no
  17. 17. 16 legal obligation to work to close achievement gaps. The second major component that is discussed is the reasoning that “low-income children, racial minorities, English learners and students with disabilities” will not get the resources they need due to the lack of accountability this legislation will have over states. Thus, this advocacy group urges voting against the student success act. Ultimately, this research works well in policy camp one which is a strong supporter of federal control over education and is against the student success act. This research is strong in the sense that it provides two major arguments policy camp one often uses. House 1. “Kline, Rokita Applaud Student Success Act Passage.” Education & the Workforce Committee. House of Representatives,19 July 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=343173>. This press release issued by Chairman John Kline and Rep. Rokita come after the passing of the student success act in the house by a very close 218-213 vote. In it, both Kline and Rokita briefly spell out the advantages the passing of the student success act will bring by stating it “will tear down barriers to progress and grant states and districts the freedom and flexibility they need to think bigger, innovate, and take whatever steps are necessary to raise the bar in our schools.” Apart from stating their confidence in the legislation, Kline and Rokita also lay out the specific laws that will change as a result of the passage of the student success act. Though enthusiastic, both Kline and Rokita understand that the legislation must still pass via the Senate and get signed by the President in order to become official law. Upon further reflection, this research will work remarkably well within the context of policy camp two. The policy camp is only strengthened here by both the chairman of the subcommittee of education in John Kline and Rep. Rokita. They both represent the republican viewpoint and work nicely with this aspect of the research. 2. Scott, Bobby. "OPPOSINGTHE STUDENT SUCCESS ACT."Congressman Bobby Scott. House of Representatives,25 Feb. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media- center/floor-statements/opposing-the-student-success-act>. In this press release,Congressman Bobby Scott, representing the third district of Virginia gives his voting weight in adamantly opposing the student success act. For Bobby Scott, his opposition to the legislation comes in two major forms: lack of funding for underprivileged students and the elimination of the maintenance of effort. By passing the student success act legislation, Bobby Scott argues that it will allow states “use all of its title I funds to districts based solely on the percentage of poor children, regardless of the concentration of poor people in a district.” By doing this, states could give more Title I funds and money to more affluent schools and not be watched by the federalgovernment. In addition, by eliminating the maintenance of effort clause, states could use education funds for non-education objectives like funding tax cuts. Naturally, this research would best be employed in policy camp one as it correlates strongly with a liberal reasoning of why not to pass the student success act. Bobby Scott also represents a great stakeholder against the student success act as well. 3. Thomas, Brad. "The Student Success Act Summary." (n.d.): n. pag. Edworkforce. House of Representatives. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_student_success_act_summary.pdf>. This statement lays out the republican argument for the legislation and the overall re-vamp of the ESEA. Listed specifically, the document lists five ways the student success act will change the education realm
  18. 18. 17 for the better: first, it will return student achievement back to states while still maintaining high standards. Second, it will provide states and districts greater flexibility to meet students’ needs. Third, it will invest limited taxpayer dollars wisely. Fourth, it will strengthen programs for schools and targeted populations. Lastly, it will maintain and protect long-standing protections for states and local autonomy. Under each section, the document goes a step further by providing examples and reasoning for each major point. Simply stated, this research will best be utilized for policy camp two. The viewpoint is very republican centric and issued by the republican education workforce committee. 4. "Minority Views on Student Success Act."(n.d.): n. pag. Democrats Edworkforce. House of Representatives,11 July 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/sites/democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/files/document s/Minority%20Views%20on%20H%20R%20%205_%20w%20signatures.pdf>. Issued by the democratic committee on education in the House, this research materialstrongly opposes the passing of the student success act due to its shortchanging of minority students, weak accountability measures,and lack of support for professional development for teaching and learning. Aside from criticizing the student success act legislation, the committee also states that the legislation in its current form could not possibly hope to get past neither the senate nor the president. Instead of stopping at just criticism however, the committee makes notable recommendations and addendums it feels should be added to the bill such as: “college and career ready standards,modern assessments,an accountability system that includes meaningful goals and targets for improving student achievement, and a school improvement system that gives schools and districts flexibility in how they achieve those goals.” With these recommendations in mind, the document analyses each fault in the student success act in an effort to show why it would fail and why it should adopt democratic amendments to the bill. This research will ultimately be best suited towards policy camp one. The amount of data, research,and thought put into this particular document is very impressive. In 20 pages, the liberals are able to make their position abundantly clear to their opposition and provide very convincing arguments throughout to not adopt the student success act. Senate 1. Coats,Dan. "United States Senator for Indiana Dan Coats."US Senator Dan Coatss. U.S. Senate,16 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.coats.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/-coats- supports-every-child-achieves-act>. Though not a substantial piece of research as it relates to the student success act,this particular piece of research relates to the bipartisan solution offered up as an alternative bill by congress in the every child achieves act. Passed by the Senate 81-17, the every child achieves act would “end the Common Core mandate, end the need for federalwaivers, end federaltest-based accountability, end national school boards, and allow states to decide important measures in their accountability standards.” Dan Coats,a co- supporter of the bill along with 81 other senators,speaks highly of the legislation when he states “The Every Child Achieves Act ends the Common Core mandate and restores responsibility for accountability standards back to states.” Unlike the student success act which only passed in the house due to heavy partisan representation from Republicans, the every child achieves act aims for votes catering to both sides of the aisle. In Coats’,and other senators estimation, the every child achieves act stands a better chance of passing than the student success act while still limiting federalpower and giving more authority to states over education.
  19. 19. 18 This research would not fit well into either policy camp regarding the student success act. However,it would work well in providing a firmer set of policy recommendations pertaining to educational authority and control. 2. Fischer, Deb. "Press."Fischer Lauds Passage of Every Child Achieves Act. U.S. Senate,16 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.fischer.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news?ID=779cf27a-e835- 425b-9669-35fe46afea40>. In casting her favor for the every child achieves act,Deb Fischer, state senator of Nebraska,states that “the Senate is passing important legislation that will put education decisions back in the hands of Nebraska families and local communities. It will end the Common Core mandate by letting states determine their academic standards without any interference from Washington.” Fischer, like many republicans in the Senate,advocates for more local control of education. In her mind, the federal bureaucracies that abide at the federal level would not be sufficient enough in accurately gauging and testing students’ success levels. Ultimately for Fischer, state schools know their students and understand how best to gauge their abilities. Though similar to the student success act,the every child achieves act is different because of the non-inclusion of the portability act which allows for federal funding to be used at any public school of choice, including charter schools. By allowing this portability act,states risk ignoring underprivileged students by using federalfunding to promote and build more privileged schools that students would use the funding to go to; there is no level of equity throughout under this portability measure. Again, while not aligned with the student success act,this research will be of great aid when it comes to determining the policy recommendation. As noted earlier, the student success act seems to be far too partisan to be made into a law. The every child achieves act stands a better chance at becoming a law due to its bipartisan nature. 3. Franken, Al. "Al Franken | Senator for Minnesota." Floor Statement on Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. U.S. Senate,9 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.franken.senate.gov/?p=news&id=3193>. Like the rest of the senate sources so far, this source also pertains to the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. Speaking favorably on the bill, Senator Al Franken from Minnesota, advocates for the legislation strongly when he states that “the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 builds a strong bipartisan foundation to reform our national education system.” Throughout his advocacy for the legislation, Senator Franken raises severalpoints that only make the every child achieves act more favorable. One, Franken states that the every child achieves act will provide funding for strong leaders of schools in principals. Second, the legislation etches out more appropriate measures of testing for students that is done on computers that adapt respective to the student’s ability. Concurrently, states can either take or leave this format. Third, the legislation promotes things like STEM which promote science, technology, engineering, and math. Fourth, the legislation allows for high-quality early childhood education which, as Franken claims, increases the chances for a student to go to college and avoid destitution. In all of his amendments to the every child achieves act and the legislation itself, Franken comes off as very confident that the bill will pass the house, senate,and be signed into law. Ultimately, this research will best be used for a separate policy recommendation irrespective of the student success act. If anything, this senate resource will provide a neutral ground for the partisan heavy student success act.
  20. 20. 19 4. Murkowski, Lisa. "FLOOR SPEECH:Every Child Achieves Act."Speeches. U.S. Senate,21 July 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. <http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/speeches?ID=98337cc1-7e58-4722-a4aa- e0fda790cd58>. In her advocacy for the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, Senator Murkowski boldly states that “It is far, far better than No Child Left Behind.” Notably, Senator Murkowski is most impressed with the legislation in that it gives back power to local control while simultaneously providing for underprivileged students and minorities. Specifically, Senator Murkowski mentions both the Native Americans and the Native Alaskans that the legislation would protect. Specifically, states and local school districts are required to “consult and engage with the American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian tribes and parents in creating State and Local Plans and implementing federal education programs that serve Native students in order to meet their cultural, language, and education needs.” Apart from these positive aspects of this legislation, Senator Murkowski pushes back against the opinion that the secretary of education could override state mandates and that the legislation doesn’t give enough power back to local control. In one instance, Murkowski states “The Every Child Achieves Act prohibits the Secretary from requiring a State to include or delete any element of its state standards from the State Plan, use specific assessment instruments or items, set goals, timelines, weights or significance to any indicators of student proficiency, include or delete from the Plan standards.” Once more, this particular piece of research would best be used for developing a more concise and accurate policy recommendation. Though partly in-line with the Student Success Act philosophy in that Senator Murkowski is a strong advocate for local control over education, she veers away from that legislation in her promotion of maintaining that the state and federal governments give equal educational opportunity to minorities and underserved students. Executive 1. Statement of Policy. Albuquerque, NM: U of New Mexico Board of Regents,1970. Whitehouse.gov. White House,25 Feb. 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr5r_20150225.pdf> In this report by the Obama administration, President Obama and his staff make their position on the Student Success Act clear when the report states,“if the President were presented with H.R. 5, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” In large part, President Obama and his administration would veto the bill for two reasons. One,H.R. 5 abdicates the historic Federalrole in elementary and secondary education of ensuring the educational progress of all of America's students, including students from low-income families, students with disabilities, English learners,and students of color.” Two, the report states that the “bill should do more to reduce redundant and unnecessary testing, such as asking States to limit the amount of time spent on standardized testing and requiring parental notification when testing is consuming too much classroom learning time.” In lieu of these reservations, the report strongly advocates and recommends a bipartisan approach towards the elimination of the No Child Left Behind Act and Educational Reform generally. This research would best be suited under policy camp one with respect to the Obama Administration strongly urging against the passing of the Student Success Act.
  21. 21. 20 2. "Statement of Administration Policy." STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY(n.d.):n. pag. Whitehouse.gov. White House,25 Feb. 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr5r_20150225.pdf>. In this report by the Obama Administration, President Obama and his staff clearly show great support for the Senate legislation of the Every Child Achieves Act,a bipartisan effort. Clearly stated, Obama and his staff show great joy in the Senate’s proposal largely due to their co-jointed effort between Republicans and Democrats to come up with a bill that strikes an appropriate balance. Though the Administration shows strong support, four notable recommendations are made from Obama’s camp. One, “the Administration strongly urges revisions during Senate consideration of S. 1177 that would strengthen school accountability to close troubling achievement and opportunity gaps, including by requiring interventions and supports in the lowest-performing five percent of schools.” Two, “Changes also are needed to S. 1177 to ensure that the Department of Education has the authority to implement the ESEA so that it works as intended to protect at-risk students and to provide accountability for taxpayer funds.” Three, The Administration also urges changes during Senate consideration of S. 1177 that would cap the amount of time spent annually on standardized testing and that would require parental notification when testing is consuming too much classroom learning time.” Four, “S. 1177 should also be improved to better support America’s teachers and principals and to deliver the resources and resource equity needed to strengthen our Nation’s schools.” Though this research does not fit within the context of any one policy camp, it does offer another alternative to reshape the No Child Left Behind Act in the form of new legislation prompted by the Senate. Ultimately, this research would best be used for a more enhanced policy recommendation. 3. "WHITE HOUSE REPORT:Investing in Our Future: Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College and Careers."Whitehouse.gov. The White House, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/13/white-house-report- investing-our-future-helping-teachers-and-schools-pre>. In this report, President Obama and his administration did not advocate for the Student Success Act due to a number of reasons. According to Obama and his Administration, “the legislation would lock-in sequestration funding levels, eliminate accountability for taxpayer dollars, and allow states to shift Title I funds from high-poverty schools to more affluent districts.” Obama instead suggests that any legislation that restructures the ESEA reduce student testing to a bare minimum while still measuring student’s increasing performances. Secondly, Obama wants to invest $2.7 billion in ESEA programs and expand high-quality pre-schools. This research would work well in policy camp one due to the Obama Administration’s staunch view against the Student Success Act. Secondary 1. Bidwell, Allie. "House Lawmakers Push 'No Child' Overhaul Forward." U.S. News. U.S. News,12 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/02/12/no-child-left- behind-rewrite-heads-to-house-floor-despite-democrats-objections>. This report, authored by Allie Bidwell of U.S. News,goes over the various disagreements the democrats had in creation of the student success act. Though Rep. John Kline strongly supports the student success act in stating that the legislation “helps provide American families the education system they deserve, not the one Washington wants,” Kline fails to acknowledge the relational tensions between the democrats and republicans. Among her many references of strained relationships, Bidwell points out that the republicans blocked every major amendment the democrats brought up and also did not include any pertinent
  22. 22. 21 stakeholders in the formation of the bill (teachers,students, parents). Further, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the bill "not only cements cuts in education funding for our children, but it also does nothing to guarantee states continue to invest in education." As Bidwell would have it, the student success act was born out of a very tense and counter-productive relationship. Ultimately, Bidwell’s article aligns perfectly with policy camp one in that it strongly favors the democrat side of the debate by heavily criticizing the process of how the student success act came to fruition. Naturally, this research would fit well within that realm 2. Hess,Frederick. "In Reauthorizing NCLB,Job No. 1 Is to Rein in Uncle Sam." TheHill. The Hill, 18 June 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/education/245442-in- reauthorizing-nclb-job-no-1-is-to-rein-in-uncle-sam>. Frederick Heiss, writer for the Hill and staunch advocate for the passing of the student success act, effectively claims throughout the whole of his article for republican congressman to stop nitpicking over the small items of the bill and understand the bigger picture; the bigger picture being taking away educational power from the federal government. Advocating his argument, Heiss states that “NCLB is effectively defunct, and the Obama administration is using its trappings as a pretext to dictate state education policy from Washington. The most notable of these dictates is the steady federal pressure on states to embrace the Common Core State Standards and the associated tests,or risk losing their waiver.” Though Heiss is for the student success act passing, the bigger goal, in his mind, is to pass any legislation that limits federalpower over education so as to bring that power back to the states and local districts who could better serve their students. Ultimately, this research would best be utilized for policy camp two due to its heavy emphasis on diminishing federalpower and reach over education and handing that power over to states. Due to its heavy conservative emphasis, this research does not offer any viewpoints from the opposing side of the spectrum. 3. Porter,Caroline. "White House Takes a Swing at House Version of New Education Bill." Washington Wire RSS. Wall Street Journal, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/02/13/white-house-takes-a-swing-at-house-version-of-new- education-bill/>. Caroline Porter,reporting for the Wall Street Journal, makes heavy reference in this article to White House Officials who adamantly oppose the student success act for a multitude of reasons. One of those reasons revolves around Title I funding which “are currently concentrated in schools with large numbers of poor students. “The House proposal, however, would allow states to spread Title I funds thinly across the wealthiest districts.” According to Porter,many of the qualms White House Officials have over the student success act corresponds to the level of educational equity underserved students would be able to have. Accordingly, the passage of the student success act,in the Obama Administration’s eyes, would allow Title I funding to be used towards wealthier areas thus leaving out underserved students in need of aid. On the other end of the spectrum, opponents claim “The White House is using scare tactics and budget gimmicks to kill K-12 education reform, because they know a new law will lead to less control in the hands of Washington bureaucrats and more control in the hands of parents and education leaders.” Accordingly, this research fits well within policy camp one as it gives the vantage point of the Obama Administration on the student success act. Naturally,being the partisan bill that it is, white house officials find themselves in direct contention with the legislation due to its questionable treatment of underserved students. This research also gives ample treatment of the republican arguments as well.
  23. 23. 22 4. Severns,Maggie, and Kimberly Hefling. "House Leaders Muster Passage of Education Bill." Politico. Politico, 08 July 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/house-gop- educ This neutral report from Politico merely frames the student success act in the lens of both the republicans and democrats. Written after the passing of the student success act,this bare bones report frames the arguments from both the democrats and republicans stating at one point democrats “said the bill abdicated the federalgovernment’s responsibility to protect poor, minority, disabled and non-English-speaking students.” This article also indicates that a more bipartisan bill is being introduced in the senate that will not be as partisan as the student success act. Further,the authors do mention that the “house’s bill would take big steps to beef up local control in education.” While this research does not fit into policy camp one or two, it does provide a basic framework of the arguments from both sides that is conducive to the overall research.ation-bill-votes-119839>.

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