Weekly News Roundup: No Child Left Behind Rewrite Passes House

Three community meetings to discuss boundary changes, school reassignment, and consolidation have been announced. Schools to be discussed include Accokeek Academy, Buck Lodge MS, Calverton ES, Forestville HS, Fort Washington Forest ES, G. James Gholson MS, Martin L. King Jr. MS, Potomac Landing ES, Princeton ES, Skyline ES, Suitland ES, Suitland HS, William Beanes ES. Reassigning sixth graders to middle schools will also be discussed. For dates and locations, see the flyer.

Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School won the Maryland 4A state football championship on Friday, defeating Howard High School 55-6 (Sentinel). Watch highlights of the game at Fox 5.

Side by Side, a faith-based nonprofit organization in Laurel, works with parents at five elementary schools to help parents learn how to help their children succeed in school. (Baltimore Sun)

A suspicious backpack with what looked like wires sticking out of it was found at Bladensburg High School after a bomb threat was called in to the school. An inspection showed that the backpack was harmless. (NBC 4)

Derrick Leon David (D-Mitchellville) and Danielle M. Glaros (D-Riverdale Park) were elected by the Prince George’s County Council as the new chair and vice chair, respectively. According to Davis, the council is “committed to creating a more business-friendly county.” (Washington Post)

A bipartisan rewrite of 2002’s much-criticized No Child Left Behind law, bill S. 1177,  easily passed the House on Wednesday and has moved on to the Senate for a vote early next week. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA,) would give the federal government a smaller role in overseeing and guiding public education. The new legislation retains the requirement for annual testing in math and English and in grades 3 – 8 and once in high school. However, states would be able to make their own decisions about how to evaluate teachers and schools. (Washington Post)

The National Education Association (NEA) is supporting ESSA, calling it a “big improvement” over the No Child Left Behind law. They are asking supporters to email their Senators in advance of next week’s vote. (NEA)

Monty Neill, the executive director of FairTest offers an analysis of the new legislation from the perspective of those who generally oppose “high-stakes testing,” concluding that the act is a modest gain. Neill praises ESSA for ditching the old “Adequate Yearly Progress” requirement but is disappointed that the annual testing requirement still stands. He also points out that states will be required to rank schools, with rankings based largely on test scores. (Washington Post)

The Every Student Succeeds Act’s provisions for teacher preparation have been questioned by one professor who is concerned that the law favors “non-traditional, non-university programs such as those funded by venture philanthropists.” (Washigton Post)

Read the full text of bill S. 1177 here.

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