AASA Advocacy Conference Update: ESEA

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The review and analysis of House and Senate ESEA activity on July 7 is pulled from AASA resources as well as outside resources.

Please note that the chart of amendments is for both the House and Senate. The FOUR House amendments are at the bottom, in the rows shaded grey. The list of amendments is comprehensive for the House and as complete as possible for the Senate. For the Senate amendments, some are filed and some are pending. We only report the AASA position so you can effectively communicate with your delegation.

SENATE: As the Senate kicked off what is expected to be a two week (ish) long process of debating ESEA, opening comments were just that—more comments than substantive debate. No ESEA-related votes were taken. HELP Committee leadership made opening remarks detailing the collaborative effort that has been a cornerstone of the bill so far.

As we expected, the issue of accountability emerged as a talking (sticking?) point, divided along the lines of supporting the current state/local focus language in the base bill and an effort to reinstate elements of accountability that bring the bill closer to the high-stakes testing climate people claim to be ‘over’.  Specific elements of the expanded accountability are those AASA detailed in our legislative conference earlier today: requiring states to ID the bottom 5%; requiring states to identify/intervene in schools with graduation rates below 67% and some element we are trying to confirm related to ‘other gaps’. AASA is opposed to any proposal that would expand accountability beyond the critical guardrails already built into the Every Child Achieves Act: data disaggregation by student subgroup and adjusted cohort graduation rate.

A handful of amendments have been filed and votes will start at 12 noon on Wednesday. Please see the related AASA letter and amendment summary, noting that the summary of amendments for the Senate will be continuously updated as additional amendments are filed.

HOUSE: The House Rules Committee met on Tuesday evening and cleared four amendments for consideration, in addition to 10 amendments still awaiting roll call votes from the February debate. Votes will start at 5 pm on Wednesday. See the related AASA letter and amendment summary.

RESOURCES:

  • Text of Senate manager’s amendment
  • White House Statement of Administrative Policy: “The Administration appreciates the bipartisan effort that produced this legislation and wants to work with the Senate and House on a bipartisan basis to ensure that important changes are made to protect the most vulnerable students.”
  • White House Report on Waivers: As mentioned in the conference on Tuesday afternoon, the White House released a report detailing the academic gains of states receiving ESEA waivers.


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