Rhode Island’s Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is sounding celebratory notes following the Senate’s approval of a new education policy. The vote significantly revamps the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act.
The Senate passed the new education bill by lopsided 81 to 17 vote.
Whitehouse said the new legislation maintains annual testing requirements, but removes some of the penalties for lower performing schools.
Whitehouse, who helped to draft the legislation, says he heard the concerns of many students and teachers about the impact of No Child Left Behind.
“It just bedeviled the classroom, and we are rid of that now,” said Whitehouse. “There’s a whole dashboard of information that can be used to evaluate the school. And now teacher tests are really going to be about testing how well the student is doing.”
Whitehouse plans to spend some time during the August recess convincing the House of Representative to act on the bill.
“What we hope is that we can get the bill agreed on between the house and the Senate, fairly quickly, and have the President sign the bill so that kids go into this next year knowing that the new rules will apply,” said Whitehouse.
Last week the House of Representatives approved its own education bill, which would allow parents to use federal funding to attend private school. Whitehouse said there is very little likelihood the President would sign that legislation.
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