With the ESEA Conference Set to Kick Off, Is the End Near for NCLB?

by Alyson Klein, Education Week Politics K-12 Blog

After eight years and at least three serious attempts, Congress is finally moving forward on bipartisan, bicameral legislation to rewrite the almost-universally-despised No Child Left Behind Act, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The preliminary agreement-or “framework”-as the lead negotiators are calling it-is not the final word. Instead, it’s a jumping off point to set the stage for an official conference committee that is likely to begin-and maybe even end-this week, according to Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog. The proposal would keep some of the NCLB law’s most-important transparency measures in place, like continued annual testing in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. And it includes some protections for perennially foundering schools and those where poor and minority kids, or students in special education, and those just learning English, are struggling.