Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, voted Friday for H.R. 5, The Student Success Act. The Student Success Act returns responsibility for student achievement to states, school districts, and parents while maintaining high expectations; eliminates ineffective federal programs and invests limited taxpayer dollars wisely; strengthens programs for schools and targeted populations; supports local efforts to measure teacher effectiveness; engages parents in their child’s education; supports impact aid; maintains and strengthens long-standing protections for state and local autonomy; and provides services for homeless students.
“This legislation, that tackles the complex issue of education in America, is based on a simple and fundamental premise: families and educators know what is best for their students- not Washington bureaucrats,” said Congressman McKeon. “Improving our education system and ensuring that every child in America gets the opportunity to receive the best education possible needs to be a constant top priority. The United States is the greatest country in the world and our education system needs to be beyond compare if we wish to continue to be the land of opportunity and prosperity. In this global economy, that is only getting more competitive, we must continue to do right by our greatest resource-our children. This legislation addresses some of the most crucial flaws hampering our education system and puts us on the right track.”
As passed by the House, the Student Success Act will:
• Eliminate AYP and replace it with state-determined accountability systems, thereby returning authority for measuring student performance to states and school districts.
• Eliminate federally mandated actions and interventions currently required of poor performing schools, giving states and districts maximum flexibility to develop appropriate school improvement strategies and rewards for their schools.
• Allow Title I dollars to follow disadvantaged kids, at the state option. This landmark ‘portability’ option promotes parental choice and allows all Title I schools to receive funds to promote the academic achievement of students in need.
• Repeal federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements and grant states the flexibility to develop their own teacher evaluation systems to better gauge an educator’s effectiveness, if they so choose.
• Maintain the requirement that states and school districts issue and distribute annual report cards, including disaggregated data on student achievement and high school graduation rates, while also streamlining data reporting to ensure meaningful information is easily available to parents and communities.
• Support opportunities for parents to enroll their children in local magnet schools and charter schools, and enhance statewide parental engagement.
• Eliminate more than 70 existing elementary and secondary education programs to promote a more appropriate federal role in education.
• Consolidate a myriad of existing K-12 education programs into a new Local Academic Flexible Grant, which provides funding to states and school districts to support local priorities that improve student achievement.
• Protect state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by limiting the authority of the secretary of education, including by eliminating the secretary’s ability to inappropriately influence state decisions to adopt the Common Core or other common standards or assessments.