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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Member Rachelle Moore testifies before Congress

A serious effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) since 2002, is underway in the 114th Congress. The cornerstone of the federal presence in K-12 education, ESEA is designed to support programs to level the playing field for the most vulnerable, including children of poverty, students with disabilities, and English-language learners. Reauthorization is an opportunity to set a new vision of shared responsibility for a public education system that promotes opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee passed its version of ESEA reauthorization, the NEA-opposed Student Success Act (H.R. 5), in a party-line vote on February 11. The full House is expected to take up the measure the week of February 23, 2015.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee is aiming to mark up a bipartisan ESEA bill in early March, with floor action to follow later in the month. Three NEA members have brought the educator’s voice before the Committee since the 114th Congress took office in January.

NEA’s core goals for the next ESEA are: 

•        A new accountability system with an “opportunity dashboard” 

•        Less testing to give students more time to learn

•        Decoupling high-stakes testing and accountability

•        Ensuring qualified educators and empowering them to lead

In the words of NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, “Our focus is on providing equal opportunity to every child so that they may be prepared for college and career. A child’s chances for success should not depend on living in the right zip code.”

Letter to Congress
List of Elimination Programs


Email Congress

Tell Congress ESEA reauthorization must provide more opportunity for students to learn

Sign the Petition

Sign the ESEA petition and share it with 5 friends.

Call Congress

Call Congress via NEA’s “Opportunity for All” hotline at 1-866-331-7233.

Lily's Blackboard

Washington Post:  'No Child Left Behind' has failed

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