Eight years after the law technically expired, the controversial No Child Left Behind education reforms are about to improve.
The Senate approved the Every Student Succeeds Act Wednesday. Eighty-five senators voted in favor of the bill, with 12 opposed. The House of Representatives approved the bill last week. Every Democrat and 178 Republicans in the House voted for the bill, with 64 Republicans dissenting.
Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against the bill. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voted in favor.
The bill would give states more power over what to do with failing schools, although it requires the creation of some state-designed plans to identify and reform failing schools. There would be less federally-mandated testing in schools, and the remaining tests would not be tied to any federal consequences. The bill also prohibits the Department of Education from giving states special positive or negative incentives to adopt specific academic standards, as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been doing with Common Core using waivers from No Child Left Behind.