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NEA president encouraged by bipartisan and bicameral approach to fix broken law

Eskelsen García: we are a step closer to ushering in a new era in public education

WASHINGTON - November 19, 2015 -

Today, after months of speculation and work, the U.S. Senate and House conference committee jointly approved the staff recommendations as amended to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time in years. The House of Representatives is planning to take up the conference committee recommendation after the Thanksgiving break. The Senate is expected to follow.

NEA members – educators who have lived with and have been sounding the alarm about the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind – have waged an unprecedented mobilization and advocacy campaign on behalf of the nation’s students to close the chapter on the failed NCLB law and to bring in a new federal education law that provides more opportunity for all students.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“It is time for Congress to usher in a new era in public education that commits America to creating opportunity for all students regardless of background or ZIP code. While we appreciate the bipartisan and bicameral work of Congress to finally replace No Child Left Behind, our work isn’t done.

“We believe Congress must commit to the success of every student and focus on three core goals in the next ESEA: 1) Closing opportunity gaps for students by creating a new accountability system that includes an opportunity ‘dashboard’; 2) Giving students more time to learn by addressing over-testing, decoupling statewide tests and high-stakes decision making, and giving states and school districts flexibility to determine which tests best inform instruction and help students learn; and 3) Ensuring that educators’ voices are part of the decision making process at all levels: federal, state and local.

“We look forward to working with members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate when they return from Thanksgiving break to ensure that we produce a final bill that, when signed by the president, gives every student the opportunity, support, tools, and time to learn.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  202-822-7823,