US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Alexander: Gallup Poll Shows Americans Don’t Want a National School Board

Obama administration is “making far too many decisions for Tennessee and other states that states and local communities ought to make for themselves”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014Liz Wolgemuth / Jim Jeffries 202-228-4729

Nashville, Aug. 20 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement on the Gallup poll released today, which shows the overwhelming majority of Americans believe states or local school boards—not the federal government—should have the greatest influence on what is taught in public schools:

“The Obama administration has used the combination of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and waivers from No Child Left Behind to, in effect, convert itself into a national school board, making far too many decisions for Tennessee and other states that states and local communities ought to make for themselves,” Alexander said. “Today’s poll shows Americans reject the persistent overreach from Washington and know these decisions are best made closer to home. My legislation, which all Republicans on the Senate education committee have voted for, would reverse the trend toward a national school board and send back to the states all decisions about standards, tests, performance targets, and teacher evaluations.”

Last year, Alexander introduced the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act” with six of his Republican colleagues on the Senate education committee to let states decide whether schools and teachers are succeeding or failing. Alexander said of his Republican bill at the time, “The best way to help 50 million children in 100,000 public schools learn what they need to know and be able to do is to fix that responsibility squarely where it belongs—on parents, teachers, communities and states.

“Fortunately, over the last 30 years states have worked together to create higher standards, better tests and pioneered new systems of teacher evaluations related to student performance. Our legislation would create a national environment that would help them succeed. Unfortunately, the Democratic alternative would create more congestion by freezing into law existing federal mandates and adding 20 new programs and 80 new requirements on states and school districts.”

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