Members of the America Forward Coalition applaud the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for passing the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) earlier today by unanimous consent.
America Forward supports a reauthorized ESEA that is designed to ensure that all children, whatever their background, receive a first-class education, one that leads to economic security and the chance for a successful life. The Every Child Achieves Act represents an important step forward toward a strong, bipartisan ESEA reauthorization.
America Forward is particularly pleased by the legislation’s consistent focus on investing in what works (specifically the comprehensive definition of “evidence-based”), the authorization of Pay for Success projects, and the update to the federal Charter Schools Program. In addition, America Forward strongly supports the inclusion of demonstration authority for innovative, competency-based assessments, the focus on the importance of non-academic skills, and the emphasis on recruiting, developing, and retaining top-level teachers and school leaders. The Committee markup process improved the bill, including important amendments to support innovative education projects, digital learning, and expanded learning time.
The Senate HELP Committee bill makes significant progress in supporting innovation, empowering high-quality external partnerships, promoting the use of data, supporting learner-centered systems, and investing in what works for students. However, there is still much work to be done in each of these areas, as well as increasing the bill’s focus on progress for all subgroups of students. We urge the Senate to continue to strengthen the bill as it proceeds to the full Senate for consideration.
THE AMERICA FORWARD COALITION is a network of more than 60 innovative, impact-oriented organizations, working in every state and in more than 1,000 communities nationwide, dedicated to driving systemic change in education, early childhood, workforce development, child welfare and criminal justice. America Forward Coalition members share a commitment to innovating to achieve better results, using data to track progress and ensure accountability, and leveraging resources across silos and sectors to improve the lives of the people they serve. Our Coalition organizations are achieving measurable outcomes in communities across the country every day. We believe that policy approaches that spur innovation, focus on outcomes, and reward results can transform these local results into national change and propel all of America forward.
For more on America Forward, please visit www.americaforward.org.
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