ROKITA BILL IS THE LARGEST TRANSFER OF FEDERAL AUTHORITY TO STATES AND LOCALITIES IN 25 YEARS

Washington, D.C. – Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04), issued the following statement after the House passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a version of the same bill he co-authored for two years and helped negotiate with the Senate recently:

This bill empowers states and ends federally mandated, unproductive, high stakes testing, the core of ‘No Child Left Behind,’” said Rep. Rokita.

The law’s high-stakes testing, while well-intended, has proved unworkable.  It has caused tremendous stress to parents, teachers, and students without yielding the planned results. Therefore, the Secretary of Education through waivers, runs schools by executive fiat, imposing requirements on state testing standards and conditioning receipt of federal funds on adopting Common Core standards.

In contrast, the Every Student Succeeds Act prohibits the federal government from requiring adoption of Common Core or conditioning receipt of funds on adoption of Common Core.  It reins in the Secretary of Education by prohibiting the Secretary from adding requirements to state testing standards or requiring teacher evaluations.  It also eliminates 49 ineffective programs and starts eliminating the bureaucrats associated with them.  The money saved plus additional funds go to a flexible grant.

This bill solves the problems created by No Child Left Behind and provides much needed flexibility to schools.  Now, voters and tax payers, through their locally elected officials, can determine what success in testing looks like and hold school systems and teachers accountable to them.   It recognizes that when it comes to determining academic standards, local school administrators, teachers, parents, and taxpayers know what is best regarding what to test, how long to test, how many tests to administer, and which testing companies to use,” said Rokita.  

The reauthorization bill originated in Rep. Rokita’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, as H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, a bill Rep. Rokita co-authored and led passage in July.  Rep. Rokita was later appointed to the Conference negotiating team to reconcile the House and Senate versions.

“I thank my Committee colleagues and the Conference Committee who worked together from the beginning to pass this bill.  My goal was to make sure the conservative reforms and policies in the ‘Student Success Act’ stayed in the final product. We were successful today.  This bill is the largest transfer of authority from the federal government to states in 25 years.  It is time we put our children first so we can compete in a global, 21st century world.  It is time we trust parents, teachers, and local education leaders more than we trust federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” added Rokita.

The bill passed the House  359 to 64 and now goes to the President’s desk for his signature.

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