Thursday morning at AEI, U.S. Congressman John Kline (R-Minn.) explained his new education bills, which seek to bring more local control, more parent involvement and less federal intrusion to the nation's schools. Kline, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, authored the bills in an attempt to reauthorize the widely unpopular No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. He described how the bills will give states the authority to define their own accountability systems, eliminate a highly contested provision of NCLB that dictates teacher eligibility, and offer states more flexibility to spend their federal dollars. He also assured audience member and Idaho state superintendent Tom Luna that under his bills, Washington would not dictate which standards -- such as the Common Core standards -- states must adopt. Notably, Chairman Kline's remarks come just before President Obama announces the 10 states that have been granted NCLB waivers, through which the administration is allowing states to circumvent the act's consequences. He noted that the waivers were simply a way for the president and secretary of education to get what they want.
In recent years, we have seen a lot of hype around the need to reauthorize No Child Left Behind and to tackle its more troubling provisions. Last year, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed a bill that overhauled the law while retaining a substantial federal role. Now the Republican House is planning to introduce the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act, which call for a dramatically curtailed federal role while retaining NCLB's requirements that states annually assess and report on the performance of all students and of various demographic subgroups. Join us to hear U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, discuss the bills and take questions about them prior to their introduction in the U.S. House.