Act aims to improve education system

The U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee approved the Student Success Act on Feb. 11 to replace the No Child Left Behind bill. 

This bill is an attempt by Congressional republicans to salvage the No Child Left Behind act which is universally condemned by many schools as a mandate to improve student performance without the funds to ensure schools help students get the extra help they need to do better on tests.

As a result, many school districts, including those in Sonoma County, want to get out of No Child Left Behind and most Democrats in Congress are wary of attempts to salvage the law. 

Even if the Student Success Act, as the Republicans are calling it, gets through the House and Senate, the president will likely veto it.

The Student Success Act changes the current civil liability plan that was based on all-or-nothing tests with state-led accountability systems, returning the responsibility for grading student and school performance to the states and school districts, assures parents to continue to hold local schools accountable for their children, and removes more than 65 programs that are redundant. 

It’s also will be helping schools support the students more efficient, protects state and local independence over the decisions in the classroom. 

The Success Act would enable parents with more school choice options by continuing the support for magnet schools and growing charter school opportunities, and then allowing the Title I funds to pursue low-income children to the public or charter school of the parent’s choice, and strengthens the efforts to improve student performance among specific student populations, including English learners and homeless children. 

“It seems that the cons outweigh the pros because budget cuts was really hard before and now cutting them even more is ridiculous,” said undeclared freshman Kelly Quick. “I know that personally they took away pretty much all the electives in high school, so overall budget cuts overall is bad idea for education. It’s not like teachers should be more efficient, but need to be more creative to get the students more involved with school.”

The Student Success Act offers a better a way to help the nation’s classrooms by returning the responsibility for student success to the states, school districts and parents, while keeping up with the high expectations. 

Also eliminating unnecessary federal programs and spending limited taxpayer dollars intelligently, strengthening programs for schools, and supporting local achievements to measure teacher effectiveness. 

 “I think they should be wary of the fact that of mostly high school, they don’t have a lot of motivation anyways they don’t know that it’s a privilege to get a higher education because in other countries kids don’t get that privilege,” said freshman history major, Hayley Beeman. “Cutting funding doesn’t seem like a good idea but if they think it will actually help focus the teachers and the students somehow, they need to be clear on how they think it will make the students work harder.”

The question of whether this act could improve or worsen the education system for children in the United States has arisen. 

If the act does in fact improve the education system, universities in the United States may have more students entering college with a higher proficiency in math and English, which would ultimately improve the higher education system in addition to K-12 education.