House passes Scalise amendment to reduce federal presence in schools

The House approved an amendment offered by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Thursday that would significantly reduce the federal government’s role in schools across the country by eliminating certain federally mandated teacher evaluations.

The amendment was part of the Student Success Act and passed in a voice vote.

“The federal government should not be micro-managing teacher evaluation programs, which are more effectively run at the state and local level,” Scalise said. “Parents are in a much better position to hold their state and local school boards accountable for teacher performance than some unelected bureaucrat in Washington.”

The SSA passed the House on Friday in a 221 to 207 vote. The bill moves the responsibility for student achievement from the federal government to states, school districts and parents.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the SSA builds on and adapts on the successful parts of the No Child Left Behind Act.

“Like the original No Child Left Behind Act, which actually reduced the number of federal K-12 education programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the SSA eliminates ineffective and duplicative federal programs, consolidating many of the programs that have grown and multiplied in the decade since NCLB was enacted,” Boehner said. “It protects local schools from new requirements and red tape, and lets school districts identify, recruit and keep the best teachers possible.”