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Coalition: “Congress, Keep the Backbone of ESEA Strong!”

Democrats for Education Reform joined a coalition of business, civil rights, disabilities and advocacy groups today calling for robust assessment systems, public reporting of key education indicators, and accountability for student outcomes in a reauthorized ESEA.

The principles include:

  • Annual, statewide assessments of all students grades three to eight, and at least once in high school;
  • Public reporting of assessment results in a transparent and accessible way; and,
  • Accountability systems that expect faster improvement for the groups of children who have been traditionally underserved, and prompt action when any group of students underperforms. 

See the full statement of principles here:

ESEA Core Coalition Principles Release FINAL.pdf


DFER Infographic Brief #2 - Why NAEP Is Not A Substitute for Annual Statewide Testing

While some people are saying that the National Assessment of Educational Progress is a viable substitute for annual statewide tests, nothing could be farther from the truth. See our ESEA Infographic Brief Number #2 for more information here:

ESEA Info graphic Brief #2.pdf



If you think Washington could not become another Wisconsin, think again. Blue states turn purple. Then they turn red. Our Democrats should be worried about 2016. But first they need to get their heads out of the sand, and get serious about improving our public schools.


Obama’s Free Community College Plan: Better Than You Might Think

By Hajar Ahmed, Education Reform Now Policy Intern and
     Mary Nguyen Barry, Education Reform Now Policy Analyst

In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama will argue for his proposal to make community college tuition-free for all students. (Disclosure: Before Obama’s proposal was unveiled, Education Reform Now noted our general support for the principles and rhetoric underlying the plan -- increased financial support for college access and affordability along with an accompanying expectation of heightened personal responsibility from aid recipients.) 

The strongest argument critics of the Obama free community college tuition proposal have made so far is that it’s not targeted to needy students and instead constitutes a boon for those from middle-income and wealthy families. But our review of the data suggests otherwise.



The ESEA Reauthorization, named “The No Child Left Behind Act” was signed into law January 8, 2002. In April 2002, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on the implementation of the law. The members took particular interest on how states were going to operationalize the accountability provisions of the new law. Senator Hillary Clinton questions Under Secretary of Education Hickock how a patchwork system of local assessments could possibly result in a valid, comparable system of accountability . .


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