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Senate HELP Committee Hearing Highlights Importance of Reauthorizing ESEA

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee yesterday (2/7/13).  The hearing, entitled, “No Child Left Behind: Early Lessons from State Flexibility Waivers,” featured testimony from Sectary Duncan during the first half and four panelists during in the second half. The panelists included: Terry K. Holliday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education; John B. King, Jr., New York Commissioner of Education; Andrew R. Smarick, Partner, Bellwether Education Partners; and Kati Haycock, President, The Education Trust.

In their opening statements, Sen. Harkin and Sen. Alexander emphasized the importance of reauthorizing ESEA. Sen. Alexander stated: “We’re overdue in doing our job and taking a look at the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and reauthorizing it…that’s our responsibility and we should do it.” Sen. Harken reiterated this push: “In this new Congress,” he said, “we are redoubling out efforts to reauthorize ESEA and to address more effectively the needs of disadvantaged students.” The majority of Member questioning focused on the implementation of waivers and issues related to measuring student and teacher success.

You can watch the full hearing and read the witness’ testimony here.

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Friday, February 8, 2013