Reauthorization of ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Reauthorization of ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act – Brief Article

The reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will have an effect on state standards and assessment. It includes the following key provisions.

* Testing. The bill requires annual, statewide reading and mathematics assessments in grades 3-8 by the 2005-2006 school year. Statewide test data will be broken down and reported by race, income, and other categories to measure achievement gaps.

* Academic improvement. States would be required to reach 100% academic proficiency, as defined by each state, within 12 years. The bar would need to be raised once each three years. If a school failed to make adequate progress for two consecutive years, students would be given school choice and the school would receive technical assistance. After the third year, the school would be required to offer supplemental education services chosen by students’ parents, including private tutoring. After five years, schools would be identified for reconstitution.

* Bilingual education. The bill consolidates several bilingual education programs into one flexible initiative. Students with limited proficiency in English will be tested in reading and language arts in English after they had attended school in the United States for three consecutive years.

* Teacher quality. The bill also consolidates the Eisenhower professional development and current class-size-reduction programs into a single initiative to improve teacher quality.

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