The legislation comprehensively reforms No Child Left Behind. The bill passed by a vote of 221-207 According to Arizona Representative Paul Gosar, “among other changes, the bill bars the Secretary of Education from coercing states to adopt Common Core standards, eliminates 70 ineffective programs and prioritizes local initiatives.” “Caring about our students and their futures requires that we beat back the federal government’s takeover of our education system. The boondoggle known as No Child Left Behind proved disastrous for parents, teachers, school administrators, and most importantly, students. Unfortunately, as the federal government’s role in education has increased, test scores and performance have not improved. I have more confidence in parents, teachers and local school districts to make decisions than I do Washington bureaucrats. We owe our students nothing less than to provide them with a higher quality education.”
Matt Salmon spoke on the floor on Thursday, saying this is the “first real glimmer of sanity and common sense on federal education policy in last 20 or 30 years.” “If you keep doing what you’re doing you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. We’ve had this encroachment of federal government time and time again in education policy,” said Salmon. “It doesn’t work. This gives the flexibility to put the decisions… back into the local governments, teachers, parents, classroom, and school boards and that’s where it needs to be. One size does not fit all and Washington is not the fount of knowledge.”
The Arizona Education Association (AEA) applauded representatives Ron Barber, Raúl Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Ed Pastor, and Kyrsten Sinema for their opposition. The teacher’s union released a statement saying that they liked the bill because it “eliminates Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and the arbitrary deadline for 100 percent proficiency,” they opposed “additional cuts at the federal level” in spending.