Statement of Third Way Vice President for Social Policy & Politics Lanae Erickson Hatalsky on the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act
“Today is one for the history books—and a huge win for those looking to usher in a new era of K-12 education in this country. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have come together to recognize both the benefits and limitations of the No Child Left Behind framework and enact a new policy that builds on its successes while shoring up its weaknesses.
“Some tried to use this debate as an opportunity to get rid of tests and rewind to the days before we could even track achievement gaps in our schools—let alone do anything about them. They lost. Instead, what prevailed was a careful balancing of the need to give districts and states additional flexibility with the need to maintain crucial federal guardrails to protect the students states have too-often overlooked.
“We commend Chairmen Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Members Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) for working together to demonstrate that bipartisan trust and thoughtful pragmatism are still possible in Washington. States, districts, teachers, parents, and students can all now breathe a collective sigh of relief that Congress was finally able to step up and bring federal education law into the current decade.”