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Statement on Senate's Proposed ESEA Bill From Former Assistant US Secretary of Education Peter Cunningham

The proposed bill moves the conversation forward, but still leaves too much at risk—kids in underserved communities, investment in early learning, and the innovation needed to create better opportunities for all kids. We’re glad to see a continuing commitment to testing and transparency but worry that the bill abandons any consequences for schools that are falling short and not serving students well. Letting states determine entirely on their own which schools need to show improvement puts children at risk. Raising expectations, identifying underperformance, and targeting resources to schools that need to improve have helped drive record-high graduation rates and a sharp decline in the number of students attending dropout factories. Along with continuing to clearly define expectations for school performance, we need a bill that strengthens investment in early learning and provides an incentive for schools and districts to innovate and adapt to the diverse needs of our kids and the demands of the 21st century career landscape.
Peter Cunningham
Peter Cunningham is the founder of Education Post and serves on its board. He served as Assistant Secretary for communications and outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration’s first term. Prior to that he worked with Arne Duncan when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Peter is affiliated with Whiteboard ...

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