Senate panel votes to reduce federal role in schools

The Washington Post
October 21, 2011

By Lyndsey Layton --

A Senate panel voted 15 to 7 Thursday to reduce the role of the federal government in overseeing the nation’s 100,000 public schools as part of a revamping of No Child Left Behind, the key education law.

The government would stop supervising the performance of 95 percent of the nation’s schools under a bipartisan bill crafted by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the ranking Republican, Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

Only 5 percent of a state’s worst-performing schools — often known as “dropout factories” — would be subject to federal oversight under the measure.

Another 5 percent of schools — those with the greatest achievement gap between students of different racial groups — would also be required to make improvements under the proposed legislation, but states would determine how to intervene in those schools.

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