No Child Left Behind Replacement Under Scrutiny

Jan 4, 2016

State education officials say they’ll spend the next 18 months figuring out what a new federal education law requires.  

President Obama signed the law replacing the controversial No Child Left Behind statute.  

The new law is dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act.

It gives more power back to the states for accountability, teacher evaluations, and how to push poorly performing schools to improve. 

Speaking to the state board of Education, Department of Education Director Ryan Wise says there’s a lot in the bill to digest.

“It's an 1100 page bill so we’re starting to dig in,” Wise says.   “We’ve had a couple of meetings about what is in here, what are the big questions, and what do we do next.”

Under the new law, the federal government can no longer give states incentives to adopt academic standards such as Common Core.    The law still requires extensive testing of students, but states can now limit the time spent on tests.  

Wise says Iowa rules will have to change.

“So over the next 18 months as this transitions into becoming law we will work diligently to insure effective implementation working with a broad group of stakeholders,” Wise says.    

The new law eliminates the federal mandate that teacher evaluations be tied to student performance on statewide tests.  Also, states will be required to intervene in the lowest-performing five percent of schools and in high schools with high dropout rates