Key components of education bill headed for final approval


December 9, 2015 1:30AM (UTC)

A massive rewrite of federal education law is headed toward final approval. Key components of the legislation:

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TESTING: The legislation continues required testing in math and reading for children in grades three to eight and once in high school. States are encouraged to consider whether to cap the overall amount of time students spend taking tests.

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ACCOUNTABILITY: The states would get greater authority to determine how to evaluate schools and teachers, including the role of test scores in those assessments. Other measure could be considered such as school climate and graduation rates.

UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOLS: Removing the threat of sanctions, the legislation would require states to come up with their own plans for intervening in the lowest-performing schools, in high school dropout factories — schools that graduate less than 60 percent of students — and in schools with persistent achievement gaps.

COMMON CORE: The legislation would bar the U.S. Education Department from mandating or giving states incentives to adopt a particular set of academic standards, such as Common Core.

PRESCHOOL: The bill would provide more access to preschool for children from low- and moderate-income families through a grant program that would use existing funding to support state efforts.


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