Washington, DC – Amendments from Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, former Denver Public Schools Superintendent, to improve teacher and principal training, analyze and work to eliminate duplicative regulations and invest in research and development to promote education innovations were included in the bill to fix No Child Left Behind, which passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) last night.
- Bennet’s amendment on teacher training is based on his Growing Excellent Achievement Training Academies Teachers and Principals (GREAT) Act and would support the growth of new kinds of teacher and principal training academies that have rigorous admissions selection processes, emphasize clinical instruction and tie graduation to improving student academic achievement.
- He also cosponsored an amendment that incorporated elements of his Lead Act to improve our systems for recruiting, preparing and supporting effective principals in high-need and rural schools.
- Bennet included an amendment to establish a national task force charged with examining federal, state and local regulations as well as testing and assessment systems governing public schools to identify duplicative or unnecessary regulations and tests.
- A fourth Bennet amendment would establish ARPA-ED, an education research program based on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which would invest in research and development of new uses of technology in education and would help drive innovation in the classroom.
These amendments built on a number of elements that Senator Bennet had pushed to incorporate in the underlying bill.
Bennet released the following statement last night following committee passage of the bill to fix No Child Left Behind:
“We have a vital national interest in the education of our kids; the future of this democracy and our ability to compete in the 21st century depend on it,” said Bennet. “We’re not going to fix public education from Washington, but we can help drive reform at the local level that will give every child a chance at a quality education.
“In a Washington, where getting something done is rare, bipartisan passage out of committee is a tremendous step,” Bennet continued. “I hope this bill can continue to serve as a building block for a final passage that will roll back No Child Left Behind.”
On the first day of debate, Bennet took to the Senate floor to implore continuation of the committee’s work following an objection from a Senator that stalled the HELP Committee’s consideration of the bill.
Yesterday during debate, Bennet made a passionate case for the need to reform our system of public education.