Oct 21 2011
Utah Senator Says “Utah Parents and Students Deserve Better than This”
WASHINGTON – Citing not enough flexibility for educators, families, students, and states, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) tonight opposed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, legislation reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, that was considered by the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee. Hatch, a former Committee Chairman, issued the following statement:
“Utah’s parents and students deserve better than this legislation. They need great teachers in their classrooms and leaders in their schools, districts, and state offices — not more Washington bureaucrats and a greater federal presence meddling in what should be the local decisions of parents and educators,” said Hatch. “Education is the responsibility of our state and local governments. For that reason, I support significant reductions in the federal footprint on education. During the decade of No Child Left Behind, a remarkable consensus has emerged on what the problems are with that law. Across the board, Utah’s education officials, legislators, superintendents, principals, teachers — and most importantly parents — are demanding greater flexibility to make decisions at the state and local level that make sense for their communities.”
This bill not only fails to address the problems with NCLB, it actually decreases state and local flexibility by imposing new federal mandates for teachers and principal evaluations, retaining the federal definition for highly-qualified teachers, mandating that states be accountable to the federal government for continuous improvement of all schools - not just Title I schools, failing to provide more flexibility to states in how they use funding to address local needs, and requiring students with disabilities to take tests that are inappropriate for them due to their disabilities.
During Committee consideration of this legislation, Hatch supported an amendment put forward by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to fully repeal No Child Left Behind. In addition, Hatch supported other amendments that would give states and localities more flexibility.###