Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind Inches Ahead Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is uncertain as Congress returns from its summer break, but legislators have made a preliminary move. On Aug. 28, Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman and ranking member of ... Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   September 01, 2007
Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind Inches Ahead
Author Notes
  • Neil Snyder, director of federal advocacy, can be reached at at nsnyder@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 4257.
    Neil Snyder, director of federal advocacy, can be reached at at nsnyder@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 4257.×
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   September 01, 2007
Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind Inches Ahead
The ASHA Leader, September 2007, Vol. 12, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.12132007.38
The ASHA Leader, September 2007, Vol. 12, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.12132007.38
Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is uncertain as Congress returns from its summer break, but legislators have made a preliminary move. On Aug. 28, Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Education and Labor, released a staff discussion draft of Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The draft was developed through input received at nearly two dozen congressional hearings and from discussions with many groups, including ASHA, about re-authorization legislation. The information, along with ASHA’s comments, can be viewed on the “Take Action” Web site. Comments were due by Sept. 5.
The draft focused on Title 1, the core of NCLB, which includes assessment requirements, aggregated data, and other hot-button issues. NCLB, first passed in 2002, includes 12 titles. Some reports speculate that Miller will introduce a major re-authorization bill and move it through his committee as early as this month.
ASHA is promoting several NCLB reforms, including greater access to professional development opportunities for members, public disclosure of professional qualifications of teachers and school-based SLPs and audiologists, the use of multiple measurements for assessing children with disabilities, and improvements to Early Reading First and Reading First programs.
Although public sentiment supports re-opening and repairing the law, politics behind it may prevent a quick resolution. Nearly a dozen members of the House and Senate are running for re-election, and thus are focused on their campaigns. It may be impossible to pass a bill through two legislative chambers for signature by the president before the current administration ends in 2008.
Education Programs Update
ASHA is supporting H.R. 3419, the Reducing Barriers to Learning Act of 2007, introduced by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa). Loebsack’s bill would establish an Office of Specialized Instructional Support Services in the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and provide grants to state educational agencies to reduce barriers to learning.
No position or office within the DOE is responsible for coordinating federal government efforts involving school-based professionals such as SLPs, audiologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. In his bill, Loebsack cites “70% of children receiving services from speech-language pathologists make progress in emergent literacy skills, and 75% make progress in word recognition, an important component of literacy skills; over two-thirds of classroom teachers report that students receiving these services show improved reading skills in the classroom.”
IDEA, last re-authorized in 2004, is not scheduled for another review until 2010. The Higher Education Act, already passed by the Senate, is in progress in the House.
Visit the “Take Action” Web site to contact members of Congress or visit the ASHA NCLB Web site for more information.
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September 2007
Volume 12, Issue 13