Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA 2) has some big plans for his new role on the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee.
He is now the ranking member of the early childhood, elementary and secondary education subcommittee. The panel handles anything related to Pre-School through 12th Grade.
"I think we have a real chance, if not this year than next year, of getting through a re-authorization of No Child Left Behind. As you know, this has been something languishing in the Congress for a number of years. It should have been done years ago."
U.S. Rep. Loebsack is currently traveling his district, meeting with educators and administrators to determine what he needs to be focusing on. He says they are telling them to address accountability.
"Not punishing schools, but doing what we can at the federal level to provide the resources so they can do the job they want to do, what they need to do."
They are also telling him that school and student progress should be based on a growth model, not on a single test score.
“Instead of comparing apples to oranges, this will actually be taking a group of students and following them over a number of years to see what their progress is or isn’t as the case may be.”
U.S. Rep. Loebsack says the federal government needs to be more flexible, allowing states and individual school districts to make more day-to-day decisions. He says that would not include longer school days or school years.
"Education is primarily a local and state issue and that is where most of the decisions, an overwhelming majority of decisions, ought to be kept so I am very leary of that kind of situation."
The Congressman made his comments following his round-table discussion in Keokuk this week.