Oakland University
Monday, April 13, 2015

AASCU Update

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To:  AASCU Presidents and Chancellors, Federal Government Affairs Officers
From:  Edward M. Elmendorf, Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Analysis
  Barmak Nassirian, Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
  Makese Motley, Asst. Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Subject: No Child Left Behind/Higher Education Act Reauthorization 

No Child Left Behind

Yesterday, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) the Chairman and Ranking members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) announced a bi-partisan agreement to rewrite and revise No Child Left Behind. This bill titled the “Every Child Achieve Act” would fully reauthorize No Child Left Behind with significant changes. An official Committee summary of the draft bill can be found here, along with the bill text which can be found here. It’s expected that the full HELP Committee will consider the legislation at a hearing next Tuesday, April 14th at 10 a.m. Assuming the Committee approves the legislation, it’s expected that the full Senate will consider the legislation in May or June, possibly sooner.

There are two issues that are of interest to AASCU institutions:

  • States would be allowed to develop their own accountability systems. States would be required to include graduation rate, postsecondary education workforce readiness or workforce readiness and English proficiency for English learners in their accountability system, a provision likely to generate opposition from the coalition of progressive and conservative groups opposed to NCLB-like requirements. But states would have the freedom to add additional metrics of student and school performance. State accountability systems would be completely state designed, but, controversially, would need to meet federal parameters. Finally, in a nod to grassroots opposition to perceived federal overreach, the bill explicitly asserts that states wouldn’t be required to adopt the common core standards or any academic standard. The federal government would not be able to mandate or incentivize states to adopt a particular set of standards. While this language may help assure some opponents, the bill’s accountability provision’s reference to career and postsecondary readiness may be seen by others as essentially promoting the same objectionable metrics.
  • The bill allows but does not mandate the creation of state teacher evaluation systems. It also eliminates the definition of a highly qualified teacher.

If you have concerns, questions or feedback on this bill please contact Makese Motley, Assistant Director of Federal Relations at motleym@aascu.org

Higher Education Act Reauthorization

Senator HELP committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has released three staff white papers intended to guide discussion of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Comments on the white papers are due by Friday April 24th at 5 p.m. AASCU is working with our higher education presidential association colleagues to find as much consensus as is possible among the different sectors. Consensus recommendations on HEA reauthorization issues among the associations should serve to expedite the congressional discussion and demonstrate to congress where the community is aligned. Individual associations that choose to comment on issues for which consensus is not achievable will be sending their own letters to the HELP committee staff.

You can assist us in framing the most appropriate issues for your institution/system by sharing any recommendations with AASCU on documents that you send to the HELP committee or your congressional representatives. Below are links to the white papers and links to the email address to send comments.

Higher Education Accreditation: Concepts and Proposals

Risk Sharing: Concepts and Proposals

Consumer Information: Concepts and Proposals

Contact Us

Makese S.Motley
Assistant Director, Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
(202) 478-4652

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Created by Claudia DiMercurio (dimercur@oakland.edu) on Monday, April 13, 2015
Modified by Claudia DiMercurio (dimercur@oakland.edu) on Monday, April 13, 2015
Article Start Date: Monday, April 13, 2015