Hoeven: Senate Passes Every Child Achieves Act

Legislation Restores Local Control over Education, Includes Klobuchar-Hoeven STEM Provision

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate has passed the Every Child Achieves Act, legislation to replace the No Child Left Behind law and rein in federal involvement in local schools.

The bipartisan measure, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, allows states to develop their own educational accountability plans. The legislation restores state control over education standards and prevents the federal government from mandating or incentivizing academic standards, including Common Core.

The Every Child Achieves Act includes legislation offered by Senators Hoeven and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to bolster Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The bipartisan legislation improves students’ access to STEM education by allowing states to award funding to create or enhance a STEM-focused specialty school or a STEM program within a school. The amendment also directs the U.S. Department of Education to identify STEM-specific needs of states and school districts and align existing STEM programs with identified needs to avoid unnecessary duplication.

“The Every Child Achieves Act replaces No Child Left Behind and that’s very important because it empowers states and local school districts to provide education for our young people,” Hoeven said. “It puts parents, teachers and principals back in control of our schools. It also includes an important provision we offered to bolster STEM education which is important for growing our economy and the jobs of the future.”

Specifically, the Every Child Achieves Act:

  • Allows states to develop their own educational accountability plans, instead of the current federal accountability system.
  • Affirms state control over standards and prevents the federal government from mandating or incentivizing the adoption of academic assessments or standards like Common Core.
  • Requires school districts upon request to provide parents information on student assessment policies, purposes, and parental rights.
  • Keeps testing requirements that are important measures of student achievement, but prevents the federal government from imposing any particular assessment tool on the states. Testing includes annual math and English tests for grades 3-8 and once in high school, as well as science tests once in elementary, middle and high school.
  • Allows states and school districts to use existing federal funding to improve state-led early-childhood education.