Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Duncan on House ESEA Reauthorization Bill H.R. 5
"America's families, students and teachers deserve an education law that advances progress for all students—especially our most vulnerable children. The bill that the House passed today is not that law. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is 6 years overdue for Congressional reauthorization, and has changed from an instrument of reform to a barrier. I have met and spoken many times with Congressional leaders to try to create a new version of law that would fix NCLB's most burdensome and broken elements. But, in the absence of a workable new law, we have worked together with 39 states and the District of Columbia, and are working with other states, to provide them with flexibility from the one-size-fits-all mandates of NCLB – a process that has unleashed pent-up energy for productive, state and locally designed reforms. I continue to support a strong, bipartisan reauthorization that helps to prepare students for a globally competitive economy. That reauthorization would continue the significant progress states are making in establishing standards that prepare students for college and careers, developing systems to support excellent teaching and leadership in our schools, and creating fairer, flexible, and focused accountability for the learning of all students, including low-income and minority students, students with disabilities, and English language learners.
"The bill passed by the House today does none of those things. It marks a retreat from high standards for all students and would virtually eliminate accountability for the learning of historically underserved students – a huge step backward for efforts to improve academic achievement. It would lock in major cuts to education funding at a time when continued investments in education are the only way we can remain competitive on the world stage. For all of these reasons, I and other senior advisors to the President would recommend that he veto H.R. 5 if it were presented to him."