Amarillo, TX - President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, meaning school districts no longer have to follow the No Child Left Behind Act.
The act now allows states to control their curriculum and performance standards. Standardized tests will not be the only factor considered when evaluating a school. The law does ensure states are setting high standards to prepare students for college and a career. Congress hopes it will empower states and local schools to make decisions and develop their own systems for school improvement based upon evidence, and not by set regulations. It will provide children with more access to high-quality preschools, which will provide them with a strong start in their education. It will also establish new resources to test promising practices and replicate proven strategies that will drive opportunity and better outcomes for students.
Superintendent of Highland Park, Buddy Freeman, said students were evaluated based on their performances in class. With the no child left behind law no longer in effect that requirement will no longer exist.
Freeman said he is happy with the new bill but wishes there was one more change.
"I wish they would have reduced the testing requirements for elementary students in grades three through eight and then once in high school, that requirement is still there that they are tested ever year," Freeman said. "I think we've gone way over board in standardized testing."
The new law also no longer requires 100 percent of students to pass all standardized tests, which is a practice that Freeman believes is unrealistic.
"I'm glad that requirement is gone cause nobody would ever be able to meet that on a regular basis," Freeman said. "You know that's always our goal to have 100 percent passing but in reality it's not really practical or realistic."
It will be several months before school districts are able to enact plans created by the state under the new law.