Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement on the Senate HELP Committee marking up the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this week:
“I thank Senators Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander for working together to offer a bipartisan ESEA reauthorizing bill that would finally get rid of No Child Left Behind. Everyone agrees that NCLB is deeply-flawed. Its policies have placed unreasonable standards on students, teachers, and administrators, and has led to award-winning schools to be labeled as failing. Nowhere is this more clear than in Washington State, where our loss of the NCLB waiver has resulted in nearly every school in Washington being labeled as failing, when clearly this is not the case.
“I understand that Congress’s failure to pass ESEA reauthorization has put Washington State schools, teachers, and students in an impossible situation, and I will do everything I can to change that. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander’s bill is a step forward in changing our broken policy. But a lot of work still remains to ensure that all of our students, regardless of where they live, are receiving a high-quality education. I hope their bipartisan proposal will spark further debate in the House of Representatives on how to reauthorize ESEA and get rid of NCLB.”