"New National Education Law Shifts Power Back to States" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS


New National Education Law Shifts Power Back to States

The "No Child Left Behind" Act was overruled and replaced with the "Every Student Succeeds" Act this week. The new law signed will shift a lot of decision-making power for education policy back to the states. President Barack Obama called the law "a big step in the right direction," and its bi-partisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate suggested that is was high-time for some change in education policy.

Mississippi senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker both voted in favor of the act on Dec. 9. In a http://www.wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2015/12/wicker-congress-passes-education-reform-bill">statement, Wicker said: "This is a huge accomplishment that puts students’ chances of success first. For the past several years, the Department of Education has been acting as a de facto National School Board. Education decisions should be in the hands of those who know best – parents, teachers, and governors."

The new law ends federally dictated accountability and improvement standards, but national math and reading exams are still in place. The law encourages states to limit the time students spend taking tests, however, and teacher evaluations will no longer be tied to student performance. The Every Student Succeeds Act also enables states to get rid of Common Core curriculum because the federal government is no longer able to mandate a national curriculum.

Now school goals, achievement and progress will all be calculated and measured by each state. In Mississippi, after a fight in November over the education funding-formula at the polls and a new http://www.cbpp.org/total-state-funding-below-2008-levels-in-most-states">study reminding Mississippi that the state paid more per pupil in 2008 than now (15.4 percent more), state legislators, teachers, advocates and students will have to come together to implement and pave the way for Mississippi students to get the best education possible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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