AASA, State Affiliates Sign Letter Supporting ESEA Reauthorization


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – April 6, 2015 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today on the nation’s urgent need for a comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). A similar letter, signed by AASA and 49 of its state superintendent affiliated associations, will be forwarded to the full House and Senate, as well as chamber and committee leadership. (Hawaii does not have a superintendent association.)

“ESEA expired more than seven years ago. This means that our nation’s K-6th graders have spent every day of their K-12 experience under an outdated and broken law.

“Our students want and deserve more. We cannot continue to ask our nation’s schools and the students they serve to live under the approach offered by the administration’s waivers. Congress alone can and should address the shortcomings of the current law and the waivers.

“AASA has opposed No Child Left Behind since the legislation was introduced, citing the law’s federal overreach, punitive measures, and unworkable mandates and requirements. More than a decade of NCLB implementation has demonstrated the problems AASA predicted. We also highlighted how the current law relies on ineffective, costly requirements rather than supporting and trusting public school leaders to improve student outcomes. 

“Public schools are making remarkable strides in student learning. School districts are developing innovative ways to improve student outcomes—for all students. ESEA reauthorization represents an opportunity to breathe new life into federal education policy, incorporating the latest research and experience to increase academic achievement and decrease achievement gaps.

“The following efforts are underway: The House has moved its proposal—The Student Success Act (HR 5)—out of committee and is waiting for full floor action. The Senate committee is working through bi-partisan negotiations for a bill that will be released and marked up in the coming weeks. AASA has endorsed the House bill and is optimistic the Senate draft will make improvements on HR5 and further advance the ESEA reauthorization effort.

“AASA and our affiliates nationwide are urging Congress to move forward with the very critical work of reauthorizing ESEA. We need legislation that supports state and local innovations that strike the appropriate balance between federal government authority, and state and local autonomy.”

Read the letter by visiting AASA's The Leading Edge blog.

Video: "Superintendents to Congress: Reauthorize ESEA."

For specific questions about ESEA reauthorization, please contact Noelle Ellerson, AASA associate executive director, policy and advocacy, at nellerson@aasa.org.


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.