Merkley Applauds Senate Passage of Bill to Revamp Broken “No Child Left Behind” Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, comprehensive legislation to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In addition to overhauling the controversial testing and accountability provisions of NCLB, the bill includes increased resources for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and a greater focus on Career and Technical Education (CTE), both of which Senator Merkley had pushed for. 

“It’s an enormous relief for students, educators, and parents across Oregon that the deeply broken ‘No Child Left Behind’ law is finally being replaced. No Child Left Behind left a lot of children behind. It focused too much on getting some children to meet testing goals while ignoring other children, as well as wiping out numerous core courses and electives that were not tested. It’s time to replace a narrow and often counterproductive focus on high-stakes testing with a broader vision of learning and accountability, and that’s exactly what this bill does.

“As I’ve talked with folks across Oregon, I’ve heard again and again from employers that increased STEM education and CTE in our schools are critical to Oregon’s future economy. Giving students a chance to engage more deeply in these subjects will give them a chance to directly connect their education to real-life applications, and give them a leg up in the workforce. It’s good news for Oregon that an increased focus on STEM education and CTE is included in this bill.”

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.