Year in Review

In: Film and Music

Submitted By slidou
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Year in Review

The 111th Congress met for the last time this week, leaving in its wake a year of education highs and lows. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is grappling with how to sell its education reform agenda—outlined over the course of this past year—to an increasingly divided Congress. Here’s ASCD’s take on the nation’s main policy accomplishments (and failures) related to education during the past year, and our quick look at what’s in store when the 112th Congress takes over in January.

ESEA Déjà Vu
The congressional year ends essentially where it began with regard to the most significant piece of federal education legislation, which is more than three years beyond its expiration date.

That isn’t for a complete lack of trying. The past year saw increasing clarity from the Obama administration about its education reform priorities. The March release of A Blueprint for Reform (PDF) outlined the president’s vision for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization, from ensuring that all students are college and career ready to providing great teachers and leaders in every school.

Congress responded by scheduling hearings on ESEA reauthorization, including a Senate hearing that focused on how to support the whole child. Clare Struck, a guidance counselor from Malcolm Price Laboratory School in Cedar Falls, Iowa (the 2010 Whole Child Vision in Action winner), testified at this hearing on ASCD's behalf. Late in the summer, the House and Senate education committees began developing draft reauthorization language. Such efforts, however, fell prey to a contentious election cycle and, ultimately, neither chamber introduced a reauthorization bill.

The Never-Ending FY11 Budget Situation
In early February the Obama administration submitted its FY11 budget request to Congress, which called for a $3.5 billion increase in discretionary…...

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