Chesco Times: Local congressmen applaud passage of bipartisan education bill
As published in the Chester County Times.
Two Chester County Congressman praised the passage by the U.S. House of Representatives, Wednesday, of legislation to replace 2001’s No Child Left Behind educational rules, returning more control over education to states.
The bill has passed the U.S. Senate and the House and is expected to be signed later this month by President Barack Obama.
U.S. Reps Ryan Costello (R-6) and Pat Meehan (R-7) said this week that the bi-partisan bill, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), represents needed changes to the original legislation, from reducing redundant testing to eliminating impossible Adequate Yearly Progress standards. Chester County’s other Congressman, U.S. Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-16) also voted to support the measure. Both Pennsylvania U.S. Senators, Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) voted to support the measure last month.
“’No Child Left Behind’ was a well-intentioned step towards bringing more accountability to our schools and classrooms,” Meehan said in a statement. “But in the almost 15 years since it was enacted, we’ve learned that many of its mandates and requirements are simply unworkable. The one-size-fits-all metric of ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’ is broken, the testing regimen is ineffective, and a dizzying array of Washington directives are tying the hands of our administrators and school boards.”
Costello noted he was pleased that elements of a bill he introduced earlier this year with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici made it into the final version of this bill.
“From Day One, I wanted to work to find a commonsense, bipartisan solution to the testing burden imposed on our students and teachers,” Costello said in a statement. “The SMART Act provisions included as part of the ESSA will accomplish this by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative assessments, limiting the amount of classroom time that can be dedicated to testing, and providing school districts and teachers with resources to develop a classroom-based curriculum that meets the needs of their students. I thank Congresswoman Bonamici for her leadership and cooperation on this issue over the past year.”