Via Senate Approves Overhaul of No Child Left Behind Law

An excerpt:

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday approved a sweeping revision of the contentious No Child Left Behind law, sending to President Obama’s desk a proposal that ends an era of federal control in education policy after 14 years.

The legislation, which passed the Senate by a vote of 85 to 12, would restore authority for school performance and accountability to local districts and states after a lengthy period of aggressive federal involvement. While it keeps the existing annual testing requirements in reading and math and requires that states act to improve the lowest performing schools, it allows more local control to set goals, determine school ratings and decide remedial measures.

“I believe it inaugurates a new era of innovation and student achievement by putting the responsibility for children back in the hands of those closest to them: parents and classroom teachers, and others,” Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who heads the Education Committee, said Tuesday.

Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, the product of a conference committee of the House and Senate that passed easily in the House last week with bipartisan backing.

No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s signature education initiative, had passed with strong bipartisan support in 2001. It introduced high-stakes standardized testing to gauge students in reading and math from the third to eighth grades, with the ultimate goal of making every student proficient in those subjects by 2014.

But as time went on, more schools faced sanctions, including closings, as they failed to meet what turned out to be an unworkable expectation. Republicans and Democrats alike backed away from the law as it became apparent that its penalties for struggling schools were overly punitive.

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Via NIEA’s Keynote Speakers to Discuss the Changing Education Landscape

Keynote speakers scheduled to speak at the upcoming National Indian Education Association’s annual trade show and convention will discuss the changing education landscape of Native communities and how NIEA and its members continue to work collaboratively to strengthen relationships and educational priorities to foster the next generation.

NIEA’s 46th Conventtion and Trade Show will take place from October 14-17 in Portland, Oregon and will feature Randi Weingarten, Dr. Kamana’opono Crabbe, and Matika Wilbur as keynote speakers.

Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teacher’s union in the U.S., which works to ensure access to high-quality public education for students, their families and communities. Under her leadership, the organization has called for more teacher diversity, specifically working towards increasing the number of Native teachers within our communities, while also developing the American Federation of Teacher’s Quality Education Agenda, which advocates for reforms grounded in evidence and sustainability.

Wilbur is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading photographers, who has exhibited extensively in regional, national, and international venues. Right now she is working on Project 562, gathering original images and oral narratives from all tribal communities through the U.S. The Project is dedicated to capturing contemporary Native America by organizing and presenting compelling portraits and stories of elders, teachers, activists, and other contemporary Indians.

Crabbe’s mission has been uplifting the ‘mana’ and ‘mauli ola’ of the Hawaiian community through transformation and research excellence since his appointment as Ka Pouhana Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in January 2012. Before his appointment, he joined OHA as research director in 2010. He led the division gathering data that would highlight gaps, disparities, and causal factors creating disadvantages for Native Hawaiians to access good healthcare, governance, housing, education, and employment.

For more information about the upcoming convention and trade show, visit