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Unformatted text preview: 1 Center for American Progress | Education Reform 101 Education Reform 101 A Primer on the New Elementary and Secondary Education Act Saba Bireda March 23, 2010 The Obama administration recently released its “Blueprint for Reform,” an outline of its proposal for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The “blueprint” suggests a number of significant revisions to the current iteration of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act. It emphasizes the administration’s goal of preparing all students for college or a career through the implementation of rigorous state standards. It revises the accountability structure to reward schools, districts, and states that make steady progress in increasing student achievement. It offers districts flexibility in spending funds on human capital development in exchange for much-needed reforms to teacher and principal evaluation systems. And it reflects the administration’s strategy of encouraging innovation in all areas of government. How are state standards determined? NCLB: The current law requires that states adopt “challenging” academic content and achievement standards for English language arts, mathematics, and science. State aca- demic content standards must specify what students are expected to know and do at each grade level. The law imposes no requirements on the content or rigor of the standards developed by states. This has led to a wide variation in the quality of state standards. Blueprint: Rigorous state standards are integral to the success of the law’s other reforms. The administration’s new ESEA recognizes this and would require states to develop and adopt standards in English language arts and mathematics that prepare students for “col- lege and career readiness” by high school graduation. States have two options in meet- ing this requirement. First, those states that choose to retain their current standards are directed to work with their public university system to ensure that the standards ade- quately prepare students to enter college without remediation. Or states can work together and collaboratively develop new common standards, similar to the recent efforts of the National Governors’ Association to formulate “common” standards. These new standards will guide state efforts to reach the administration’s goal of all students graduating “college and career” ready by 2020. 2 Center for American Progress | Education Reform 101 How is student progress measured?...
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This note was uploaded on 07/07/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Rio Salado.
- Spring '11