At one of the most divisive political moments in our nation's history, in a piece of legislation that itself is controversial and has failed to be reauthorized despite numerous attempts over the past six years, a bipartisan amendment providing for education innovation and research sailed through a Senate committee.
Of course, it was supposed to be reauthorized in 2007, but what with partisan politics, outside influences and the lack of any general consensus around the various efforts, Congress has yet to successfully reauthorize the legislation. As a result, national educational policy has been a patchwork of waivers, dodges, and weaves unworthy of a great nation.
It is ironic that the Women's Rights Movement which has opened up the doors of opportunity for talented women to have a greater choice of vocation has had a negative effect on recruiting the most gifted among them for careers in education. The future course of education must be to make the profession as attractive as it has become in Finland.
House Republicans ironically named their No Child Left Behind reauthorization bill the Student Success Act, which attempts to gut our public education system and take vital funding away from the neediest students. This bill is paving the way for the privatization of education through the expansion of voucher programs.
Focusing especially on low-income and immigrant students who might easily get lost in the shuffle (or worse), Mr. Barth has designed systems that provably enhance academic performance, with the rather pleasing side effect of strengthening communities and improving the odds for potentially at-risk youths residing in them.
At a time when stark achievement gaps remain unresolved, when increased funding in education is more badly needed than ever, and when too many schools are seeking to exempt English language learners from their accountability systems, H.R. 5 threatens to exacerbate the educational inequities that have long held back Latino students in our schools.