(Washington, D.C.) Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted in favor H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, that reauthorizes and makes needed reforms to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The last time ESEA, which remains the foundation for ensuring children from low-income households and areas of high educational need receive a quality education, was reauthorized was in 2001 in what was known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

“The fact is No Child Left Behind needs to be left behind,” said Dent.

“Although well intentioned, the law has many deficiencies that need to be replaced or reformed. The Student Success Act makes necessary legislative changes that emphasize the primacy of parental, local and state local control of education and reduces the federal government’s intrusion in the classroom.  It will provide greater flexibility to states while still demanding accountability for academic performance.  The best thing for a child in school is a dedicated teacher in every class and engaged parents who follow and encourage their child’s progress. This bill makes sure that the federal government doesn’t get in the way of either of those two important elements for educational success,” said Dent

The Student Success Act rolls back some of the most burdensome and ineffective provisions of No Child Left Behind. For example, the new bill repeals the one-size-fits-all Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) provision. AYP metrics have been widely criticized because they fail to take into account the circumstances unique to schools across the country.

“The Student Success Act gives School districts and states real flexibility to develop strategies and techniques tailored to fit the specific needs of their students,” Dent noted.

The legislation also protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments.  Additionally the bill reflects the fiscal realities facing the country by consolidating over 70 programs and better targeting federal investments while also ensuring increased transparency and accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent.

“As a parent with one child still in public school, and two children who are public school graduates now attending college, I know how important a quality education is to providing a foundation for our children to become tomorrow’s leaders. The Student Success Act will help teachers, administrators and parents make that desire a reality for kids across the country,” Dent continued. “The Student Success Act puts the needs of children, the wishes of parents and the skills of local educators ahead of the fiats of Washington bureaucrats,” Dent concluded.