Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the Senate passage of the Every Child Achieves Act

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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the Senate passage of the Every Child Achieves Act

July 16, 2015

"We applaud the progress made in the Senate today toward replacing the flawed No Child Left Behind Act. We need a new law that gives every child an opportunity to succeed. This bill would give states more flexibility from one-size-fits-all federal mandates and reduce the burden of testing on classroom time, while still ensuring that parents and educators know how students are doing every year. I'm particularly pleased that the bill would expand access to high-quality preschool and direct taxpayer dollars toward proven innovative strategies. I commend the hard work of Chairman Alexander, Senator Murray, and their colleagues to get us this far.

However, this bill still falls short of truly giving every child a fair shot at success by failing to ensure that parents and children can count on local leaders to take action when students are struggling to learn. We need to identify which schools work and which ones don't, so we can guarantee that every child will have the education they need. We cannot tolerate continued indifference to the lowest performing schools, achievement gaps that let some students fall behind, or high schools where huge numbers of students never make it to graduation. This bill should also do more to maintain focus on what matters most—whether students are actually learning and graduating, and whether those that need the greatest help receive the resources and support they need. I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Alexander, Senator Murray, Chairman Kline, Representative Scott—and their colleagues—to strengthen the bill before it reaches the President's desk."