Big Change to Education Control in U.S.

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- A big change came Thursday in how public education is overseen and regulated in the United States.

President Obama signed what's called the Every Student Succeeds Act that replaces the No Child Left Behind standards that have dominated education for more than a decade.

President Obama signed a law giving up a large amount of control from the federal government when it comes to education.

The Every Student Succeeds Act takes the power from Washington to states and local school districts, for the first time since 2002.

"They're looking to have more local control. We're having our discussions with Harrisburg instead of Washington, D.C. and I think that's a step in the right direction," said Old Forge School District Superintendent John Rushefski.

Rushefski says the big change he sees coming is how success in the classroom is evaluated. It becomes more of a state decision. The feds pushed standardized testing, making sure students met certain achievement levels.

State education officials in Harrisburg are already saying tests won't be the only standards used.

"The problem we ran into was high-stakes testing. You take a test and you graduate. That's not what education should be all about. It shouldn't be coming down to one test because not everyone is a test taker," said Rushefski.

While some school districts and the state are happy with this new legislation, some parents are happy, too, with this new focus when it comes to schools.

"Most kids, when they take tests they get very aggravated. They're not working up to their potential. Most kids know what they want to do. Those tests don't actually measure their ability to do it, so it's not something that should have been done," said Mary Kay Cleveland.

Cleveland has a daughter at Carbondale Area High School. She was picking up her son from Head Start preschool.

The state's response to the new law is also an increased focus on quality early education.

William Kimble says that has been a big help in his family.

"He's 3 years old. Now he can spell his name, write his name. He does more here than I was able to do at home, so I do believe these programs help," said Kimble.

There are critics of the new Every Student Succeeds Act. They don't think it does enough to improve struggling schools.

Here in Pennsylvania, state education officials say there have been meetings with many different groups trying to determine the best approach for the state.


  • Lee Xioshin

    So essentially each state is going to control what it thinks students should be learning….This means do not move to another state if you have school aged children, because they might have to repeat a year if you move to a state with higher standards. It also makes me wonder if they will be missing essential skills like telling time I they move to another state. I’d like to have a link to this act to see how it handles various kinds of students, especially the gifted.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Not everyone succeeds. This is just more squishy warm & fuzzy liberal propaganda B.S.!

    We need drive thru workers. Gas station attendants! We needs Walmart floor sweepers & garbage men! Not everyone succeeds. Everyone gets the same opportunity in primary schools, not universities.

    Sorry, but there are some kids out there that are as dumb as a box of rocks.

    You reach the peak of your own abilities! Don’t try to manipulate the natural hierarchy of intelligence by limping all kids together.

    For crying out loud, get your kids into private school if you can and out of these mind-numbing indoctrination centers.

  • C2

    If they actually want to give power to the states over education they need to disband the Dept of Education. Anything short is theater IMO

  • rnasca

    Every Student Succeeds Act equates to Everyone Passes. Let’s cut to the chase here. The teachers were getting flack for low standardized test scores under No Child Left Behind. The teachers union put the strong arm on the legislators to remove this thorn from their side.

    • Lee Xioshin

      That’s correct let’s just pass the kids along just like before the NCLB act They will graduate without being able to fill out a job application. The teaches can continue to use the same lesson plans they’ve been using for the past 20 yrs. and rely on textbook companies as guides for the curriculum. Parents can continue to come home, drink beer, and watch TV. The kids can continue without homework on week-ends and forget about term papers. No I do not feel there needs to be a test to graduate, but I do feel there needs to be early testing/evaluations in order to diagnose potentials and problems I both the system and the students.

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