News from Senator Tester

Tester votes to replace “No Child Left Behind” and strengthen local

control to classrooms

Montana education leaders applaud Tester’s efforts to improve local schools

   U.S. Senate – Montana’s teacher-turned-Senator Jon Tester helped pass legislation to replace “No Child Left Behind” and return control of the classroom back to state and local leaders.

   The “Every Student Succeeds Act” curbs the powers of the Department of Education and eliminates the punishments that were handed out to schools who failed to hit unreasonable national scoring benchmarks. The bill includes Tester’s amendment that pushes the Education Secretary to receive input from local stakeholders, like school boards, before developing new rules.

   “This bill relieves students, parents, and teachers from the pressures caused by the failure of No Child Left Behind and puts decision making back in the hands of folks on the ground,” Tester said. “These reforms are not perfect, but they are a step in the right direction to ensuring our kids and grandkids receive the quality education they deserve.”

   The Every Student Succeeds Act allows states to create their own performance standards to identify underperforming schools. Test scores will no longer be the primary indicator of whether schools are underperforming, like they were under No Child Left Behind. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states can also choose to consider other important indicators like graduation rates.

   Each state will be responsible for tracking the performance of their schools and identifying which schools need additional resources. Schools will be eligible for additional support and resources if they are performing in the bottom five percent of schools in their state, or their graduation rate is lower than 67 percent.

   Upon passage of the bill, Tester pledged to continue his fight to replace the federal annual testing requirement and replace it with fewer tests.

   Montana’s education leaders applauded the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act and Tester’s efforts to reduce the education burdens on Montana’s schools.