Senate NCLB Hearing on Supporting Teachers and School Leaders

On Tuesday, January 27th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, held it’s second full committee hearing on NCLB, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Supporting Teachers and School Leaders.”

The hearing focused on teachers and school leaders, and AFSA was pleased there was much discussion on: how to recruit, train, and retain high-quality school leaders; and how to distribute resources to support educators’ daily needs. Other proposals to support teachers and leaders included supporting teacher incentive programs, and implementing co-teacher and principal mentorships.

Witnesses present included:

Dr. Christine Handy-Collins (Collins), Principal, Gaithersburg High School, Gaithersburg, MD

Dr. Dan Goldhaber (Goldhaber), Director, National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at the American Institutes for Research; Director, Center for Education Data and Research at the University of Washington, Bothell, WA

Dr. Terry Holliday (Holliday), Commissioner of Education, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Frankfort, KY

Mr. Saul Hinojosa (Hinojosa), Superintendent of Schools, Somerset Independent School District, Somerset, TX

Ms. Rachelle Moore (Moore), 1st Grade Teacher, Madrona K-8 School, Seattle, WA

During the hearing, HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander expressed he fears that unions and conservatives will not implement good teacher evaluations if the federal government does not mandate them, stating that his draft bill would “enable states to use the more than $2.5 billion under Title II to develop, implement, or improve these evaluation systems.”

Dr. Christine Handy-Collins, Gaithersburg High School Principal and National Association of Secondary Schools (NASSP) member, repeatedly reinforced the proposal of principal professional development. Specifically, she advocated that the bill include a requirement of no less than 10 percent of funds available under Title II to go towards principal professional development for elementary, middle, and high school principals to improve instructional leadership.

This is a proposal that AFSA, along with NASSP and NAESP, have extensively been collaborating on and strongly encourage.

A reauthorized ESEA must provide support from Congress for schools districts in order to enhance leadership capacity through a complete series of leadership roles for assistant principals, early career principals, and veteran school administrators.

Chairman Alexander has scheduled an Education Innovation Roundtable for February 2nd. While he indicated that he expected a final bill may take months, he appears to still be pressing for a full Committee mark-up in February or March.