Federal policies aiming to improve the effectiveness of schools have historically focused on inputs, such as supporting class-size reduction and compensatory programs or services for disadvantaged students. Over the last two decades, however, interest in developing federal policies that focus on student outcomes has increased. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB; P.L. 107-110), which comprehensively reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), included several such provisions. NCLB marked a dramatic expansion of the federal role in supporting standards-based instruction and test-based accountability. The 114th Congress is actively considering legislation that would reauthorize the ESEA. One of the most complex issues that Congress is considering during the reauthorization process is how, if at all, to modify existing accountability requirements and what the federal role in educational accountability should be.
Date of Report: March 23, 2015
Order Number: IF10157
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