Nat'l Ed Leaders Propose Principles for Congressional Compromise on NCLB

Forum on Educational Accountability

for further information:
Dr. Monty Neill (617) 477-9792

for use on or after Wednesday, February 19, 2014




The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) today called on members of Congress to adopt a compromise to address disagreements between the House bill and the Senate committee bill on how to replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The controversial federal law is the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The FEA proposals address school improvement, accountability and assessments.  Those have been the most contentious provisions in federal education law.  The proposals would serve each house’s goals and provide an educationally sound new federal law.

“Our recommendations can help break the logjam on reauthorizing ESEA,” explained FEA Chair Dr. Monty Neill. ”They are designed to enable a replacement for NCLB to be enacted this session.”

Among the compromises advocated by FEA:

  • Fund lowest-achieving schools to implement “common elements of successful school turnarounds.”  Expect all other low-achieving schools to implement the elements to the maximum extent allowed by funding. Require both sets of schools to report annual statistical indicators demonstrating implementation;
  • Require lowest-performing schools to achieve demonstrably attainable rates of improvement.  Progress measurement may include multiple indicators;  and
  • Support development of performance-based assessments for students, teachers, and schools Increase state and local flexibility in selecting strategies to meet federal goals.

“These proposals ensure flexibility for innovation at the local and state levels,” Dr. Neill continued.  “They also provide meaningful accountability for the federal investment. At the same time, they promote the opportunity for all students to be academically successful.”

FEA seeks to advance the goals of the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB, now signed by 156 national education, civil rights, religious, disability, parent, labor, and civic groups. Today’s FEA letter to Congress is available at

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