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OCTOBER

Since the August 29 release by the House Education and Labor Committee of the Miller-McKeon NCLB draft, committee staff has been considering the many comments to the draft and developing a version of NCLB reauthorization that can gain bipartisan support when introduced to the Committee. The Senate has also been working on NCLB reauthorization. Committee insiders expect action on NCLB in November.

On September 10, the House Education and Labor Committee held a full committee hearing on the Miller-McKeon discussion draft. Details from the hearing are online at edworkforce.house.gov/hearings/fc091007.shtml.

 On September 11, NYEC and the Center for Law and Social Policy issued "Recommendations to Improve No Child Left Behind for Struggling Students and Disconnected Youth." Read those recommendations at www.nyec.org/nclb_recs_9.07.pdf.

SEPTEMBER

On August 29, the House Education and Labor Committee released the Miller-McKeon discussion draft of Title I of NCLB reauthorization. The following week, the Committee released its draft of the remaining NCLB titles. These bills followed several months of hearings on the issues surrounding the reauthorization of NCLB. The 400 page draft of NCLB Title I includes significant changes in how the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOEd) would measure student adequate yearly progress (AYP) as well as a host of less controversial provisions. NCLB is set to expire at the end of September, at which time, if Congress has not yet pass a reauthorization bill, NCLB is automatically extended for one year.  Read the discussion drafts at http://edworkforce.house.gov/.

The draft NCLB reauthorization includes room for multiple assessments of annual progress developed by states which expand testing beyond the current NCLB math and reading requirements, moving the system away from "one size fits all" testing. It also restructures how schools previously termed "in need of improvement" are identified.  Rather than the single category of schools either meeting AYP or not meeting AYP, there will be "priority" schools which are closer to meeting AYP, yet still need reform, and "high priority" schools which would receive the greater proportion of federal intervention and assistance. The draft reauthorization also broadens available intervention options and creates greater flexibility to accommodate variations in school populations and school academic deficiencies.

Perhaps most significant to those in the workforce development community, the draft exhibits a new emphasis on graduation, dropout, and postsecondary enrollment rates to measure how secondary schools meet federal standards. The NCLB draft reauthorization adopts language from the Graduation Promise Act (GPA) and similar legislation to intervene in high schools with consistently underperforming graduation rates.

The Miller-McKeon NCLB draft amends Title I, Part A to add "Section 1006: Graduation Promise Fund."  This section authorizes grants to State Education Agencies (SEA) which may then be allocated as subgrants to Local Education Agencies (LEA) for "comprehensive and effective secondary school reform" and "early intervention and support to at-risk students in middle and secondary school."  Ten percent of the total authorization under this section may be set aside, at the discretion of the Secretary of Labor, to "provide technical assistance and regional training to build the capacity of an eligible non-profit entity to enable such entities to develop and implement or replicate effective school models for serving dropouts and students at risk of dropping out." Additionally, in their subgrant applications, the LEAs must show "how the local educational agency will collaborate with nonprofit businesses, universities, and other organizations to implement their school improvement and assistance plans."

Changes to use of grant funding for School Dropout Prevention considered in Title I, Part H of the NCLB draft reauthorization include "innovative finance models, such as weighted student funding", "small school models and recovery or alternative models for struggling students and dropouts", "dual student enrollment", and "school-family-community partnerships."

On September 10, the House Education and Labor Committee held a full committee hearing on the Miller-McKeon discussion draft. Details from the hearing are online at http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings/fc091007.shtml.

 On September 11, NYEC and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) issued its "Recommendations to Improve No Child Left Behind for Struggling Students and Disconnected Youth." Read those recommendations at www.nyec.org/nclb_recs_9.07.pdf.

 

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