Bennet, Colleagues Advance Bill to Fix 'No Child Left Behind'

Maintains Bennet Initiatives, Including Colorado Growth Model and GREAT Act

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today passed the Strengthening America’s Schools Act with the support of Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, one of the bill’s original cosponsors. The bill would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act and fix No Child Left Behind to help all of America’s children graduate college- and career-ready.

“All of our kids deserve every opportunity to receive a quality education that makes them ready to succeed in the 21st century economy – no matter what zip code they were born in,” Bennet said. “If we want to remain competitive globally, we have a responsibility to create a system where our kids and grandkids are prepared to become the next generation’s inventors, doctors, engineers, educators, or whatever profession they choose to enter. This bill will help give our teachers and principals the flexibility to find the best ways to give every kid in America a chance at a quality education.”

Bennet worked closely with HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) to author several provisions included in the bill, including aspects of the Colorado Growth Model which he helped develop as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools. The provision is based on the Growth to Excellence Act that Bennet, Senator Mark Udall and Representative Jared Polis introduced earlier this year.

The bill also includes Bennet’s Growing Education Achievement Training Academies (GREAT) Teachers and Principals Act, which would support 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.

Along with those key initiatives, Bennet secured a number of other provisions based on reforms that are being championed in Colorado.

The bill’s passage out of the HELP Committee prepares it for consideration by the full Senate.