Press Release

AFT on House Passage of ESSA Education Bill

For Release: 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on U.S. House of Representatives’ passage today of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: 

“The House’s passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act by a vote of 359-64 is an extraordinary and all-too-rare example of bipartisan collaboration. It’s a sea change for public education, and while it’s not perfect, it goes a long way to fixing the current highly flawed education law. It maintains the historic federal resource commitment to children who are poor; it re-envisions accountability that, until now, has been only about test scores; and it gets the federal government out of teacher evaluation systems. When the states revamp accountability and teacher evaluations, they should use the same lens that Congress has used to reject test-and-punish strategies and move to bring back the joy of learning and a zeal to support and improve our public schools for our students. With the House vote, we now look forward to a similar outcome in the Senate and a presidential bill signing. Most importantly, we look forward to educators in classrooms across America having the latitude to teach to the unique needs and aspirations of all of our children.

“Kudos to House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and ranking member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) for their leadership on this bill.”

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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.