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.

Please Share Your Thoughts

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

  1. We do not need that gov. interfering in raising our children. If we had good teachers to teach American History, English, Science, Math in the appropriate grades like in the 50–60s. We would have some smart kids. We had them then but not today. ITS MORE OF A LIBERAL AGENDA THAT THIS GOV. WANTS TO TEACH. YOUR NOT FOOLING ANYONE WHAT YOUR TRYING TO DO WITH OUR CHILDREN. SO BACK OFF.!!! YOU GOT THAT you blasted liberals who have gotten into our schools and are messing with our kids minds.

    • I was shocked at how poorly written the text books were, for my kids. When I complained, I got blank stares and was told the higher-ups picked them and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Why do they want to take our kids from us at younger and younger ages? Not to educate them.

      • You have that right.!!! Indoctrination pure and simple. Like with Barry They are pushing for them to learn Islam, Isn’t that just peachy. They want them dumb and dumber.. So get all the good books you can and teach them your selves. Get CD on WW2 and teach them our history. My son can teach the teacher son American history better then they can. And that also includes the Civil war. I didn’t leave anything out. He could have been a professor of History. If you can at a goodwill store get the Encyclopedias for kids and adults. Expand their knowledge so much better then the teachers. I’m doing that right now with my grandson who is 4. When my 3 sons where small you should have seen all the books that we had. Do this and you and your child will better for it.

      • They had to be at the level in which the administrators and teachers could read and comprehend. The higher up meaning the bought off politicians and political appointees.

    • Our own current teachers don’t even know our our country’s history. None of them have read the multitude of letters that John Quincy Adams wrote to his wife Abigail prior to the revolutionary war. Nor are they aware of the fact that Paul Revere wasn’t the longest rider, warning others that the British were coming, it was a 16 year old girl that rode for 9 hours, garnered up roughly 400 true patriots. If you don’t believe me, check my facts !

    • You’re on the right track, but the dumbing-down started earlier than you realize. I graduated from high school in ’64 and was in awe of my father’s knowledge. He dropped out of 8th grade in the ’20s when his father died without warning. Dad taught me more about woodworking, mechanical things, and English than my teachers did, including English and Shop teachers. I must admit that he read every night after work, including an entire Funk and Wagnell encyclopedia.

    • You’ve got the part about government having no right to interfere with our kids right. Yet, the “liberal” part is all wrong. This is not about left or right, its about right or wrong. And having our corrupt federal government interfere with the educational, social, emotional well being of our children is wrong. Because we have psychopaths running our nation, of either side of the political equation, the extreme right wingers worse than the left. This is not unlike the fact the feds have no right to go into our kids schools via military recruiters, asking these girls and boys to join that extremist regime. Many of us parents are far too well educated, traveled, morally conscious and aware to believe our self destructive war economy “serves” our nation or “protects” our freedom. We are raising our kids with leff primitive morals than that, with progressive enlightened awareness. So back off criminal psychopaths historically making the populace believe in negative lies through war owned/controlled TV “news” and political/economic agenda. They have no right, point blank.

  2. Close The Education Department, get rid of Common Core, then teach History, the real stuff not the PC crap and math, bring back Music, Shop, teach economics.
    Do not let the government dumb your children to slaves.

  3. I understand all your points, but we do need a uniform measure of achievement to compare schools and school districts. The ACT or SAT tests could do this for high schools. What could we use for grade schools? The test should be developed and administered independently of the school, school board, or government.

    • Grades are the testing factors for achievement. Testing not only grades(evaluates) the student but also evaluates the teacher. That is where unions have caused our local education systems to fail. The teacher has become more important than the student. Tenure should never be allowed in our education systems, It relieves the teacher of the requirement to continuously home their teaching and academic sills required for understanding the ever increasing technologies. Teacher should have a trial period and a regular evaluation of performance including student average grades. Those teachers not meeting minimum skill and academic levels must be removed to keep student academic achievements high. The term should not be “no child left behind” to “no poor teacher be retained.” Pay should be according to teaching and academic skills not according to tenure.

  4. I didn’t like no child left behind every since it came out it gives officials the right to push our kids through weather they know it or not and that is what is wrong with our schools now and why so many people are home schooling their kids ask them at least when they do it the child actually knows it

    • This home schooling is a sham. Home schooling has been accomplished since the caveman ( that is if you don’t believe in creation). Fathers taught the boys to be the family head and the mothers taught the daughters to be mothers. Many children today don’t know one or both parents. Vocational training took place at home and academics were introduced in public schools along with social interaction. The parents were the tutors to insure that the child understood their academics. The children had vocation training available in addition to what their parents taught them. We received an all-around education to give us a base of learning skills, both academic or vocational, to become a self relying functioning member of this country in a trade or skill of our choice and abilities. We had no high school or college graduates that could not read nor write as we have today. We also had the military draft which introduced our children to strict discipline needed to teach patriotism and self reliance. Oh yes, we had the street people and the lazy as we have today that had poor parenting and discipline at home while growing to adulthood.

      • homeschooling is not a “sham.” Its a shame that you are pro-public school, or pro-teachers union. It works, it’s growing, and homeschooled children, hands down, perform better than public-educated students. You obviously are an “educator,” to spout off your anti-homeschooling rhetoric. It is working, and kids are succeeding…sorry for your luck.

  5. I grew up with math tables, actually reading books, no calculators, no ipads. I knew more when I graduated Elementary than the people who now are graduating College. I knew the names of the presidents and what they were know for doing. I wasn’t taught to take test but not what I was taking a test on. We were taught to think and use our minds not how to look it up on a computer. I’ve seen how they are teaching Common Core math and it’s an insult to math of any kind. And it didn’t take a page of paper to do simple addition. I did 19 years to graduate High school, I was put back one year in Elementary, but made me work harder so I could catch up on where my friends were. Life does not let you slide by, you have to earn your way, no one in the real world is going to say, ” Well he is having a tough time so let him have it anyway.”

  6. Education is nothing but a joke in this country. Children need parents that instill the value of a good education in their kids by starting when they are still small children, or…..the kid itself is motivated and realizes that the only way to get ahead is by getting a good education. It’s a shame how much money our government throws away an people to go to “college” that couldn’t even pass 4th or 5th grade. Those student grants and loans are just another form of welfare that puts money in the hands of those that are too lazy to work at a job. Good luck getting these loans paid back.
    No other country that I know of teaches in languages other than their own. What a waste of tax payer dollars to teach the children of illegal aliens in their native language and how fair is it to the american kids that can’t get a decent education because of this and other obstacles. No child left behind is by far the most damage done to our children and their education.

    • NCLB concentrates on the LOW end of the scale instead of helping EVERY child be the best they can be. If a football team focused their resources on the worst players, they would guarantee losses.

  7. Remembering back in Jr High and High School, we had our academics classes along with Homemaking, wood shop, Vocational Office Education, Future Farmers of America, Distributive Education for the job market and good old fashioned Physical Education and other classes that taught trades. Now all they push is what they can control and how to control it while interfering with what information they can compile on our children and their futures. Ids got the grades they worked for and grades reflected what they actually earned. Getting back to the basics in elementary through high school is what is needed with teachers who can teach their classes without being told what and how to teach.
    Get rid of the Dept of Education and put the schools back in the hands of the people.

  8. You have witnessed the dumbing down of several generations of students through Public Schooling. Teachers LEAVE OUR CHILDREN ALONE! Home schooling is the only answer! Our books contain chapters on the “gentle Muslims”, and the Christians were accidentally left out as were the Jews. The publishers said the first 40 pages were accidently left out and they wont be able to change the printing for three years! Now you know how we elected Obama, twice! If he is allowed to fill out his term he will destroy our country. We must stand up and demand our Representatives to Impeach this man, but I believe our Representatives are part of the problem as both Republican Majority Leaders have stated that they will not Impeach Obama. I fear this Country is doomed as a Land Of Opportunity..

    • Public schooling does work but it must be controlled by the local school boards and the people of the community with the State being the final authority. No federal board of education, ect., the State is the highest Authority. Books used must be factual. History books must teach history as it actually happened. It is a past event, tell it like it was. Teach our children how to think and solve problems, Not jhow to take and pass tests. Books must be examined and passed as factual by the school board before being used to educate our children.

  9. Our Children can not learn after government control this should be under state government only and the Government should stay out of it all together.
    this is where the state should be in control as well as the county ( not goverment)

  10. The Comment that Darrell Swope is a assume statement but we need to know where the books are coming from and what they are all about before giving them to our teachers to implement .

  11. It never did work and never will. The only things that came out of this so called program is that a certain few people are getting paid to make kids get dumber and sneak in an agenda that is pushed by the progressives And last but least, MORE MARXIST GOVERNMENT CONTROL over future generations.

  12. Children who will not or cannot learn must be left behind so the students that are willing to and can learn can benefit from our educational system. If a student is disruptive, inattentive, insubordinate, etc they do not belong in our tax funded school systems.

  13. These children are ours, not some Gov. program who want to experiment your liberal crap. If it so great you live by it. Let see I was in the first grade when you Liberal nuts started your Gay crap, The Atheist was crawling out of the wood work in 1963, Then the school system introduce this crap, God needed to come off everything. So you have been in charge for the last 52 yrs. What have you produce Murderers, rapist, drug dealer, prostitution, Gay prostitution, drunks is taking over our major cities, kids murdering other kids, School shooting, You have all kids on some kind of drug for mental illness, Then you come up with well the only reason these prisoner do the things they do, they have know education, so we educated them, now they are smarter Murderers, smarter crooks, smarter liars, all you created was intellectual barbarians. With the morals of a dog. Now you took the Bible out of the schools and introduced Church of Satan, how to cast spells, and Harry Potter seminars to witch craft. all at taxpayer expense, and for Gov. funding of the Arts and what your calling art is Jesus in a bottle of piss, Two Gays getting it on, Jesus have a relation with a man. All at taxpayer expense. Now in the military they have the Church of Satan there, and has made Halloween a religious holiday. Unless your sucking, licking, gnawing, chewing on a nut sack or a penis your a homophobic. I’ll stop I could type for 7 more days of what Liberals have produced. People your being sold a lie, wake up.

  14. No, we don’t need H.R.5. We need the local School Boards to be able to input the curriculum in their Districts. We need a curriculum that teaches our children to think, find answers,use references, and solve problems, not a curriculum that teaches our children how to take and pass tests.

    • You must have forgotten, both the feds and the state feel they can educate our own children better than their own parents. Sadly, they’re very wrong.

  15. The Feds do not belong in education. No authorization in the constitution. Abolish the department of education and all laws and rules promulgated by federal authorities.

  16. Get rid of all Fed intervention in the schools and let the states have total control. Get rid of the Federal Department of Education. Our schools were in better health when the states had control.

      • The states know better how the students, teachers, and conditions of the schools are than the federal government, besides the “no child left behind” program failed and most recently “Common core” has failed and the school lunch program has been a huge joke. Common core has made the students dumber and has made it impossible for the mentally challenged child to succeed. I just read an article that says the best teachers who have been awarded awards for being the best of the best teachers are now quitting because of Common Core and the states are now starting to fight the Federal government for return of control back to them.

  17. Teacher’s Unions donate to the politicians.
    The politicians give them whatever they want.
    AND, they want to spew their LIBERAL bilge to
    the students so the students will grow up to be
    “Obedient Democrats”

  18. I have a child that is in the first grade, and you would not believe the stuff they are trying to teach her. Spelling words that are 8 letters or more long as an example: squirmed, parachute, etc, don’t get me wrong, learning how to spell is great, but 8 and 9 letter words is insane. I can understand maybe 5 or 6 letter words, but 8 to 9??? Is it REALLY necessary that a six year old child learn these big words now? Don’t they have 11 more years to learn them?….and my child is struggling with math because they are teaching algebra. IN FIRST GRADE!!!! They are stressing out the children big time. When I was in school, we were learning algebra in the 5th grade.
    Even if they use the usual “memorization” style learning (which isn’t learning by the way, it’s memorizing) the schools have been using for years, the children are struggling. Ever since the government has taken over the teaching in the schools, we see more drop outs and kids that just don’t care anymore.
    If you think memorizing is learning, I guess you probably also believe that all those people on Jeopardy are really smart too, by remembering all that useless information. That’s not learning folks. That’s memorizing.
    It’s all corrupt. The whole system, the whole world. And it’s all collapsing.
    Better get with Jesus and quick!!!

  19. I have most generally as a lifelong patriot and Republican voter tried to hold up Dubya! This time, though, he really stepped in it with “No child left behind.” Believe me, a Dog Herder knows “it” when he smells “it,” and I’m here to tell you that Bush the Son stepped in “it” with this ridiculous legislation. The Feds belong out of our schools and, ideally, Jesus belongs back in our schools. Period. Here in East Tennessee we’ve been saying “No child gets ahead” for years and for good reason too. We have far too many children who are disrupting their classes due to their learning disabilities. Some are special needs kids and some are just mean and/or mentally deficient. Social promotion by any other name is just that. More kids than ever before just don’t care about education, but get a feel good piece of paper at the end. A great many of them need to learn trades not academics. What good does a HS diploma do for a graduate that had to “earn” it in a dumbed down system? Patriots unite and let’s see that HR 5 fails. Our children differ in abilities; let us not allow a bunch of Washington denizens to try to homogenize them again through 2021.

  20. “No Child Left Behind”?… Our children have different levels of learning abilities as well as different ways of learning. Not every child learns alike. There are hands-on learners and book learners. Some can just study and learn, while others require the “hands on” approach, meaning they learn better by doing what they are learning about.
    There are those who require a special setting while learning, but parents have to “fight” to get their children’s special needs met when the government mandates these children get what they need. These children are in a sense “left behind”. Is it because the government is not so “gun-ho” about making sure these “special needs” children succeed?
    However, just the very thought of “No Child Left Behind” was eradicated when “Common Core” entered our classrooms. Common Core requires all children learn at the same pace, in the same way, and does not allow the teacher to give that “extra” required to make sure each child learns what is being taught before moving on to the next idea. If the child doesn’t learn what is being taught in the manner in which the lesson is being taught or the time allotted for the child to learn that lesson, the child is, in a sense, being “left behind.” Kinda, sorta ironic, isn’t it? Isn’t this another way of “dumbing down” our children, and is the government trying to create a race of “super” children? I know this sounds far-fetched, but is it not possible, that, one day, those children who did “make the grade” may feel they are superior adults to those adults who did not “make the grade” as children.
    When the state controlled the school, the children were more likely to eat the food placed on their plates in the cafeteria. The leaders in the cafeteria were not told what they could prepare for the children to eat by the government, but the meals were balanced. These leaders had no problem making food decisions back then, so what makes the federal government think they need their help now? The children actually learned what was being taught, and those who did not learn as quickly were given ample opportunity to learn the material.
    These things considered, it makes absolutely no sense to even consider letting the federal government have anything to do with the education of our children–Common Core, No Child Left Behind, or in any area where the government has their “finger in the pie” of education.
    I agree that Jesus being back in our schools would solve a lot of problems. Children would be told of a love that surpasses any other.
    HR 5 is just another name for what is in effect right now and bottom line is, No Child Left Behind has failed and will continue to do so. But the saddest part of this whole situation is that this educational approach has failed our children, and will continue to do so. Our only alternative is, as DogHerder states, [to] “unite and let’s see that HR 5 fails.” Our children deserve better, and so does our nation as a whole.

    • To carol2112,DogHerder, Trust in Jesus, Alleen and everyone that has posted regarding this discussion. I want to say THANK YOU! I normally never get involved in the discussion but after reading so many comments I felt I had to stand up and applaud! Although l am a registered democrat, I too supported, as DogHerder says, “Dubya!” He still till this day is the president I’ve admired the most during my voting years. BUT!!!! I hate that he implemented “no child left behind”. It is by far the worst thing that came from his presidency. As a mother of two children I’ve seen the damage this program has caused. My Sophmore daughter which is extremely gifted and has been reading at an adult level since she was two years old and excelled in the first few years of elementary can barely bring home a 2.5 GPA. Why? Because she became so bored in school and could not be challenged that she just stopped paying attention. Everything is so easy for her she doesn’t feel like she has to do her work cause she already knows it. It’s a constant struggle to make her sit down and complete homework. Now, moving on to my 4th grader…. Well, that’s different. My son is smart but not nearly at the same level my daughter was at his age. In third grade he was given so much nightly homework that we’d sit for hours trying to get through it. I felt like he wasn’t allowed to be a kid and didn’t have time to play. My poor son had to deal with a crabby mom that worked a 10 hour day and had very little patience left for teaching him how to do his school work, because that’s what they do in the schools now. They rush through a “common core” program and if they can’t pick it up at school, tell parents they have to teach them if they want them to get a decent grade. I literally felt like I was my sons 3rd grade teacher but the hardest part was when my son would come home and tell me I didn’t teach him the right way!!! Are you kidding me????? Now skip forward to 4th grade and he comes home with math problems I need to help him with. Ok. So I teach him how to solve them the way I do it and the answer is correct. Good, right? Nope! He will sit and argue with me how it’s not correct cause I’m not using a graph or a box with four squares or tally marks or God knows what else to solve the problem. Did you know they’re 10 different ways to solve 20×10 ? And none of them are the way we were taught!
      PUUH-LEASE!!! Lucky for me I had a conference with his teacher and he took my side and told my son not to argue with me if it’s the right answer. I think most teachers agree with most parents that this “no child left behind” & “common core” crap is exactly that! Crap! I won’t even get started with school lunches since I’ve already written so much already.
      These programs are causing damage to our childrens education, health and mental welfare. They have already failed! I want my kids to want to do well in school and be different. I want them to learn something they don’t know from their classmates and them to teach classmates something they know.

      • Hi all, I’ve been reading your responses and I have two reflections.

        1) It breaks my heart to think of our American children not getting what they need in order to be successful contributors once they graduate. I’ve been a teacher in California, New Mexico, and now Missouri. Obviously the system is not perfect and and no system will be when implemented at and dictated by the federal level.

        2) In an effort to do my part, I’m working to find a solution that would offer an excellent education with excellence in character. Those are the two things I am looking for as a parent of three!!! I would love to bounce some ideas off of friends in the public school system. I do have a plan…and I can feel the time is drawing near where I will be pushing up my sleeves and getting to work. But I would love help in the “trenches.” If anyone would like to discuss it further, please reach out to me at Thank you!!

    • Very interesting, but this applies to the question of NCLB, how? Children learn differently, but they all know how to answer questions. The tests are meant to determine where the children are in their level of learning, not to be taught to take a test. The teacher is responsible for getting Johnny and Suzy to learn based on how each learns, not to learn how to take the standardized test.

      The schools are just too full of leftist propagandists who are rewriting history as each day goes on. And now they are also the administrators.

      The way to solve the problem is to teach them yourself – figure out a way to do it – spend less on phones, internet and tv, but get-er done!

  21. Sadly NCLB and Common Core aren’t about education, they are about control. The NEA want to be the ones deciding what our children are taught. Can we really trust government agencies to make the best decisions for us and our childern?

  22. The idea of NCLB was to give a common series of testing so that the school admins and school boards could recognize where the problem areas were. Of course, since our schools are filled with idiots in all of those admin positions, they immediately bastardized the system so that the teachers began teaching to the tests, rather than teaching. This was an unintended consequence born out of liberalism in our schools not by NCLB.

    The next step is Common Core which was a good idea until it was implemented as a propaganda indoctrination. The only way to combat this is to get your children out of those indoctrination centers and teach them yourselves.

    The entire wasteful Dept of no Education should be dumped and control of the schools returned to the states. The problem with that is that the richer states will have to pay for the poorer states somehow – it is inevitable.

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