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ACTE Makes Impact on House ESEA Overhaul


July 19, 2013


ACTE Makes Impact on House ESEA Overhaul

Today, the House of Representatives finished debate and held a final vote on the Student Success Act (HR 5). The bill is the latest attempt to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is the overarching federal policy on K-12 education and provides funding for low-income and rural students as well as teacher preparation.

The Student Success Act dramatically overhauls ESEA by striking several of its key provisions, including Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In addition, it eliminates the Race to the Top program, one of the Obama Administration’s signature education programs, and would prevent the Department of Education from encouraging states to adopt the Common Core State Standards.

The bill did make several positive changes for CTE, such as including CTE teachers on state Title I implementation committees, allowing cross subject professional development opportunities and repealing the Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT) provision, which made it difficult for mid-career professionals to move into the teaching profession.

In addition to those changes, Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) offered an amendment during the floor debate to encourage states to include data on career and technical skill proficiencies of students in the state report cards currently required by law. This amendment was based on a similar measure introduced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) during the Senate ESEA markup last month, and would help students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers understand the connection between CTE, graduation rates and postsecondary success.

ACTE worked closely with Rep. Benishek in introducing the amendment, which was adopted without objection on a bipartisan basis. The Student Success Act passed the whole House on a party-line vote (221-207). It was the first time a full ESEA reauthorization advanced to the floor in either the House or Senate in over a decade.

Lastly, we want to give a big thank you to all of the ACTE members who wrote to their representative using the CTE Action Center. Your efforts helped make the Benishek amendment a success.

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