Another DFER release:
A group of four Republican Senators* announced today that they are set to release a package of education proposals that would amend the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). While some of the specifics in these proposals have merit, the overarching effect of these policies would be to set education reform back by more than two decades.
"In one fell swoop, Senators Alexander, Burr, Isakson, and Kirk have capitulated in the one issue area in which Republicans could reasonably claim to stand with rank and file voters against the political and economic powers that be," said Charles Barone, DFER Director of federal policy. "By giving in to those in the education establishment for whom education reform recently has made life difficult, they have pulled the rug out from under parents and state and local advocates across the political spectrum who have used federal law to leverage unprecedented changes in their school systems."
In rolling out their proposals, these four Senate Republicans touted their evisceration of the very policies on which civil rights groups, business, and advocacy groups have asked them repeatedly to stay strong.
Under the Alexander-Burr-Kirk-Isakson proposal states and districts would not be required to set goals for improving the achievement of all students or for closing achievement gaps.
Whose bidding they are doing here is unclear. But it is surely not that of groups like the Children's Defense Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for Excellent Education, or any of the 30 other groups whom DFER joined in March in favor of new federal policies under which: "All students within a state should be held to the same college- and career-ready standard" and, "States must set annual and measurable goals for the academic growth and performance of all students and for closing achievement and graduation gaps." (emphases added).
Click to see the full DFER statement here and the letter is posted here: www.dfer.org/N_DuncanCoalitionLetterESEA-NCLB_Accountability.pdf