House and Senate Republicans want opt-out provisions that allows students’ ability to refuse to take the mandated tests without their schools and states being penalized. The Education Dept. now requires that schools test at least 95% of their students or else face potential monetary sanctions. Language in the House bill would eliminate the 95% requirement, but such a provision is not included in the Senate bill.
DoEd Secy. Arne Duncan generally supported the measure.
“We applaud the progress made in the Senate today toward replacing the flawed No Child Left Behind Act,” Duncan said. “ 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.”