Town Hall List

Conservative accountability goes beyond casting a vote. Building a society in which freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and the civil society flourish requires a sustained effort.  That is why we have compiled a non-exhaustive list of upcoming townhalls, all of which provide excellent opportunities to discuss important issues with members of Congress.

As always, make sure to confirm the details with the Representative or Senator’s office.

Email Hugh.Fike@heritageaction.com for any further details.

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Action Alert: Stop the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote tomorrow morning on the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

We must apply pressure to ensure your lawmaker votes “NO” on H.R. 5.

First Congress had a chance to put an end to government intervention in America’s education, but the Republican-controlled House is trying to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (H.R. 5). This bill falls short on every measure of a bold conservative education plan.

Then Conservatives like Reps. Matt Salmon,Ron DeSantis, Mark Walker and Luke Messer offered amendments that would have dramatically improved the bill and benefited America’s children. However, those amendments were ruled out of order!

Now The House will be voting tomorrow on an outdated, bureaucratic and ineffective education policy. We can’t let America’s children get stuck with No Child Left Behind (H.R. 5) until 2021.

What you can do: Call your Representative and urge them to oppose the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (H.R 5).

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Just the Facts: Allowing States to Opt Out of NCLB

American Enterprise Institute’s Max Eden has written a post criticizing our Sentinel Brief on the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). In it, Eden points to a number of perceived inconsistencies in our position.

Claim: On H.R. 5’s extension of NCLB mandates, A-PLUS itself requires “each State…[to] establish and implement a single system of academic standards and academic assessments.”
Eden has apparently not read the Walker-DeSantis A-PLUS amendment that is pending with the Rules Committee, hopefully to be offered to H.R. 5. There is no such requirement for states to set up a testing system.

Claim: On H.R. 5’s lack of program eliminations, A-PLUS itself does not eliminate programs and amounts to mere consolidation.
A-PLUS is a real block grant to states that allows them to bypass federal mandates. True, A-PLUS itself does not eliminate programs, although Heritage Action believes that is an important aspect of any comprehensive education bill, like H.R. 5. A-PLUS is one part of needed education reform.

Claim: On H.R. 5’s mandate of a statewide accountability system, A-PLUS itself has a mandated statewide accountability system of its own.
H.R. 5 requires a much different sort of statewide accountability system that is designed for “interventions to be implemented at the local level for Title I schools the state determines to be poorly performing.” A-PLUS envisions a different accountability system altogether that is simply designed to give parents information about the progress being made in academic achievement. It has nothing to do with intervening in local schools.

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Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: The Student Success Act (H.R. 5)

Status: On February 11th, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) to reauthorize and reform the No Child Left Behind Act through 2021. A number of misleading claims are being made in the service of passing this bill. Below is a summary of these claims and detailed responses. Heritage Action is opposed to H.R. 5.

CLAIM: H.R. 5 replaces the current national accountability system with state-led accountability systems, freeing the states from federal interference.

FACT: Although the proposal wisely eliminates counterproductive and prescriptive Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) mandates, H.R. 5 maintains the current NCLB mandates for states to establish standards in reading and math and to test kids annually between grades 3-8 and once in high school. H.R. 5 orders that academic achievement standards “include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all public school students in the state.” States must also use “the same academic assessments…to measure the academic achievement of all public school students in the state.” Taken together, these twin mandates direct the state to establish a single uniform assessment, limiting the ability of local schools to determine their own curriculum. Experts agree a well-rounded education is in the best interests of the child and that NCLB has damaged the ability of local school districts to set locally-driven curriculum that reflects the desires of families in their communities. The mandates in H.R. 5 perpetuate this problem.

Read the entire Heritage Action Sentinel Brief.

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NCLB Reauthorization Proposals: Missed Opportunities for Conservatives

To:              Interested Parties
From:        Heritage Action for America
Date:          February 11, 2015
Subject:     NCLB Reauthorization Proposals: Missed Opportunities for Conservatives

As the House and Senate consider a reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, lawmakers should not let the opportunity pass to advance a bold conservative vision for education policy. For far too long, the federal government’s expansive reach into education has gone unchecked. Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.

Moving forward, there are five principled criteria that Congress should meet in any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). These include the following:

Read the entire memo.

 

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