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Aurora Institute

Congress Scheduled to Act on Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Dale Frost, Susan Gentz

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Harness Opportunities in ESSA

iNACOL Policy Update: June 27 – July 2, 2015
By Dale Frost ([email protected]) and Susan Gentz ([email protected]).

Next week, both the United States Senate and House of Representatives announced the intent to act on The Reauthorization of ESEA, also known as No Child Left Behind. The week of July 7 could be pivotal for federal education policy.

The Senate has scheduled floor debate for the Every Child Achieves Act, its Reauthorization of ESEA, to start at 2:30 p.m. on July 7. We expect to see many amendments and at least one week of debate on the bill.

In addition, the House of Representatives scheduled the Rules Committee to reconsider the Student Success Act, the Senate’s own version of the Reauthorization of ESEA, for the same day, July 7 at 5 p.m. The House could be poised to vote on the bill as early as next week.

If both chambers pass their versions of an ESEA Reauthorization, a conference committee would be created to hammer out a single version that would then go back to each chamber for consideration.

iNACOL is working to provide technical assistance to lawmakers and key staff on Capitol Hill policies to scale personalized, competency-based pathways and enabling language for innovations in blended and online learning. Follow us on Twitter @nacol. We will keep you posted as these important federal developments unfold.

Important State Updates

Ohio Passes Pilot Program for Competency-based Education – Ohio continues to push innovation in helping schools modernize teaching and learning. The budget provides $1 million per year for up to five districts or schools to receive up to $200,000 each for a competency-based education pilot program. The program will begin with planning in the 2015-2016 school year and implementation for three years after that. With this and other efforts already underway in the state, Ohio is working to bring the current one-size-fits-all education system towards a student-based approach, with flexible pacing for student instruction and credit decisions based on competency rather than seat time. The Ohio Budget Bill contains the language on the competency-based education pilot program. Most of the language on the pilot are in the following sections: 263.280, 733.30. (A), and 3317.23. (A).

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

Legislative Calendars

  • Kansas adjourned June 26, 2015.
  • Rhode Island adjourned June 25, 2015.

Federal Policy Update

  • The Senate has scheduled floor debate starting July 7, for a bill to amend and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • The House Rules Committee, which decides how bills are debated on the House floor, scheduled a meeting for July 7, to consider, for a second time, its bill to amend and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Bills on the Move

  • A bill in New Hampshire has been sent to the governor for signature that would have initially allowed all school districts to offer locally-developed performance assessments in lieu of annual, standardized state tests, but was amended by a conference committee to instead allow the state to use college entrance exams to satisfy high school state testing requirements.
  • The Ohio budget bill, which includes a competency-based education pilot program, was sent to the governor for a signature.

iNACOL 2015 Blended and Online Learning Symposium

The iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium will be held November 8-11, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Registration is open. Less than two weeks remain to take advantage of early bird pricing for Symposium registration.

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