December 03, 2015

Lujan: Bipartisan Education Bill Takes Important Steps to Help Students Succeed

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today after voting in support of the Conference Report on S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act.  The bipartisan legislation includes a number of provisions to improve K-12 education and replaces the No Child Left Behind law.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every student, regardless of their zip code, has access to a quality education.  Our students deserve high expectations, adequate resources, and great teachers.  This bipartisan legislation is long overdue and takes important steps to meet those goals.  It eliminates No Child Left Behind’s rigid system to provide more flexibility for states, while providing federal oversight that will ensure our most vulnerable students are not neglected.

“For too long the United States has had a failed policy that focuses on standardized tests rather than empowering teachers to be successful.  The emphasis on testing comes at the expense of developing critical thinking and problem solving skills students need.  This conference report provides resources for states to audit and streamline their assessment system to eliminate unnecessary and duplicative assessments, allowing states to limit the time students spend taking annual tests.

“In addition, this legislation recognizes the importance of STEM education in our global 21st century economy, and creates a STEM Master Teaching Corps.  This will provide critical professional development training for teachers, enhancing their ability to prepare our students and set them on the right track for a career in the STEM fields.  It also acknowledges the importance of early childhood education by authorizing Preschool Development Grants to support state initiatives to improve coordination, quality and access for early childhood education.  Investments like these are needed to ensure that our youngest New Mexicans start off on the right path from their earliest years.”

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