Obama Gets Rid Of Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act With New Education Bill

President Barrack Obama signed a new bill replacing former U.S. President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act on Thursday.

Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act after it got an 85-12 vote in the Senate. The President called the bipartisan education bill a “Christmas miracle.”

Commending the bipartisanship that led to the approval of this bill, Obama said:

“I just want to point out that it’s not as if there weren’t some significant ideological differences on some of these issues. No there were, but I really think this is a good example of how bipartisanship can work. People did not agree on everything at the outset, but they were willing to listen to each other in a civil and constructive way and to work through these issues, compromise when necessary, while still keeping their eye on the ball.”

The new law called Every Student Succeeds is reportedly more flexible than the No Child Left Behind Act, as states and school districts are given the responsibility to determine and fix problems faced by underperforming schools.

Pres. Obama Replaces the No Child Left Behind Act with the Every Student Succeeds Act

According to WhiteHouse.gov, the new educational act will:

  • Set high academic standards for all students so that they are prepared for college and succeed in their future careers.
  • Ensure accountability by guaranteeing that when students fall behind, states redirect resources into what works to help them and their schools improve, with a particular focus on the very lowest-performing schools, high schools with high dropout rates, and schools with achievement gaps.
  • Empower states and local decision-makers to develop their own strong systems for school improvements based upon evidence rather than implementing cookie-cutter federal solutions like no Child Left Behind did.
  • Preserve annual assessments and lessen standardized testing on students and teachers
  • Provide more children access to high-quality preschool.
  • Establish new resources for proven strategies that will incite change and create opportunity and promising results for America’s students.

The new educational law is a modification of the No Child Left Behind Act, which is expected to reduce standardized testing often administered to students. In the previous law, students were required to undergo tests in math and English every year from third to eighth grade and once all throughout high school, as well as one science exam in elementary, middle, and high school. In the new law, students will still have to be tested, but there will be flexibility in how states and school boards will administer the tests.

It is also recognized as a remedy to the “one-size-fits-all” educational approach of the past administration, which according to Obama, despite having the right goals, often “fell short in practice.” He said the No Child Left Behind Act failed to consider the specific needs of each community and only relied on standardized tests that did not produce the results they expected to see.

The new law also clearly specified which schools will be needing intervention. It stated that schools at the bottom five percent of assessment scores, high schools graduating less than 67 percent of students, and schools where subgroups of students are struggling would be deemed failing and could be targeted for state takeover. However, it did not clearly state what kind of interventions will be done.

Bush’s No Child Left Behind law is said to have done more bad than good to teachers and students. Students in the U.S. ranked fourteenth in education among developed nations as many schools in the U.S. failed to meet the standards set by the No Child Left Behind law.

Obama officially replaced the No Child Left Behind act by signing Every Student Succeeds into law on Thursday at the Eisenhower Executive Building.

[Image by Pool, Getty Images]