12.09.15

Alexander: Senate Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act is “a Big Christmas Present” for 50 Million Students

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 9 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today, after the Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, 85-12, said he hopes “President Obama will wrap a big red bow around it and sign it” for 50 million children and 3.4 million teachers in 100,000 public schools.

“Mr. President, the United States Senate, by a vote of 85-12, has sent a Christmas present to 50 million children across the country,” Alexander said on the Senate floor. “First, it has to go down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, where we hope President Obama will wrap a big red bow around it, sign it and send it to the children and the 3.4 million teachers who are looking forward to it.”

Alexander is chairman of the Senate education committee and a former U.S. education secretary.

The full text of Alexander’s remarks is below:

Mr. President, the United States Senate, by a vote of 85-12, has sent a Christmas present to 50 million children across this country.

First, it has to go down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House where we hope President Obama will wrap a big red bow around it, sign it and send it to the 50 million children and the 3.4 million teachers who are looking forward to it.

It is a piece of legislation that is so important that the nation's governors gave it their first full endorsement of any piece of legislation in 20 years. It has the full support of the chief state school officers. It has the full support of the school administrators. It has the support of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. This is very good policy.

And the reason it is, it’s bipartisan, it’s a consensus. And instead of arguing about it, after the president signs it, which I hope he will, classroom teachers, school board members, governors, community by community, state by state, can go to work implementing it. And making their plans to make their own decisions about what kind of tests to give, how many to give, what the standards should be, how to fix failing schools, how to reward outstanding teachers.

We created an environment that will unleash a flood of excellence in student achievement state by state and community by community …

To take an issue this complex and this difficult, and have a vote of 85 to 12, proves that when this Senate puts its mind to it, it can do some very good work. We’ve done that today.

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