Alexander Expedites NCLB Fix, Identifies Testing As Big Sticking Point

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander pledged to fix the No Child Left Behind Law ahead of becoming the HELP Committee's new chairman. Credit: HELP Committee via YouTube

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander pledged to fix the No Child Left Behind Law ahead of becoming the HELP Committee’s new chairman. Credit: HELP Committee via YouTube

In his first days as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, Lamar Alexander is following through on a pledge to fix the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. He’s set a goal of having a bill to vote on within a few weeks.

The Tennessee Republican says there’s general agreement on some changes, like setting realistic goals. But he says there will be real debate on topics like standardized testing.

“The question is are there too many tests? And who should be in charge of the tests? Who should decide what the tests should be?” Alexander said on the floor of the Senate Tuesday.

Alexander has asked for input from the public by February 2, setting up an email address (FixingNCLB@help.senate.gov) to receive suggestions. The first hearing on fixing No Child Left Behind is scheduled for Jan. 21.

It’s thought that Alexander’s overhaul could end up greatly reducing the federal government’s role in education and leaving more oversight to the states.

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