Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

What They’re Saying: Local Educators, Advocates Support Bill to Replace “No Child Left Behind”

December 9, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Local school superintendents and education advocates are speaking out in support of the bill to finally replace “No Child Left Behind” with a law that returns decision-making back to states and local school boards where it belongs. 

Specifically, education leaders are celebrating U.S. Representative Martha Roby’s (R-AL) language in the bill reining in federal overreach into state education policy decisions.

Congress took a major step toward replacing the “No Child Left Behind” education law last week when the House of Representatives approved a final bill that reduces the federal footprint in education and returns decision-making back to states and local governments. The bill contains language Roby introduced and has championed prohibiting the U.S. Department of Education from using funding grants and rule waivers to coerce states into adopting its preferred policies, standards or curricula. 

The final conference report is expected to receive a vote in the Senate today. 

Here’s what they’re saying about the bill to replace “No Child Left Behind:”

Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan:

“I am very encouraged that the reauthorization of ESEA will correct many of the problems with No Child Left Behind. Our schools and students will benefit due to greater state and local authority, increased flexibility, and fewer federal mandates.”

Covington County Schools Superintendent Shannon Driver:

“I applaud Congresswoman Roby’s support of the “Every Student Succeeds Act.” Local school systems and state boards of education have long advocated for a return to state and local control of education policy making authority. This new law will enable states and local boards of education to determine the rigorous standards they will follow and will allow states to set accountability criteria that accurately reflect the expectations of school leaders and the community as a whole. I appreciate Congresswoman Roby’s willingness to listen to the concerns of local education leaders as she works tirelessly to improve public education.”

Dale County Schools Superintendent Donnie Bynum:

“As a local school superintendent, I appreciate Congresswoman Roby’s leadership. She has taken a common sense approach to allow education decisions to be made at the state and local level. The reauthorization of ESSA is crucial to providing our schools with relief from current law, which is both broken and lacking in the flexibility we need to support student learning and achievement.”

Dothan City Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter, Ed. D.:

“The House passage of ESSA is a welcome move in the right direction for federal education policy. While it isn't perfect, it is does return more of the education policy making role to the states and local school boards. It continues to emphasize education equity for all students while giving back control of how equity and excellence are achieved to those closer to the students who can make better, individualized decisions to help students learn. We appreciate Rep. Roby’s help in curtailing federal overreach and her willingness to support this important education bill.”

Elmore County Superintendent Andre Harrison:


“Educators at the local level have been frustrated by ‘No Child Left Behind’ and other federal mandates for years, and reform is long overdue. I am glad Rep. Roby’s provision to stop federal coercion in education policy is in the bill. Washington bureaucrats have no business dictating decisions in Elmore County, and I’m glad Rep. Roby has helped put a stop to it.”

Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Camille H. Wright:

“As Superintendent of Enterprise City Schools, this Act would be extremely beneficial in moving our district forward, and we are in total support of this Act as written. This Act allows for us to have local control and restricts the ability of the Secretary of Education from implementing mandates or forcing us to conform to a national curriculum.

“Our parents are concerned about national data banks of information with their student’s data and national tests that are mandated. This Act allows for our district to use local or national tests that WE deem appropriate using computer-based assessment. ESSA allows us to aggregate our dollars to leverage the most for our district, reduce managerial time, and be able to focus on our job—teaching and resourcing our students.

“Kudos to this bipartisan resolution. Thank you so much for listening to the people who KNOW what is needed for our children. Again, thank you, Rep. Roby, for your support and GO WILDCATS!!!”

Dr. Joe Morton, former State Superintendent and Chairman and President of the Business Education Alliance of Alabama:

“The ESEA reauthorization is allowing for less Federal government prescription and will give more control to the state and local school systems to allow them to make the decisions that best suit the needs of their community,” said Joe Morton, Ph.D., chairman and President of the Business Education Alliance of Alabama. “Education is not a one size fits all approach. This bill was a huge undertaking and the Business Education Alliance thanks Congressman Roby for her continued support in this effort.”

Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary:

“Congresswoman Roby's language in the ‘No Child Left Behind’ replacement bill is common-sense. It is not the federal government's job to dictate state standards or curriculum, especially through a carrot and stick approach. The role of determining Alabama's standards should remain with the State Board of Education and their collaboration with local school systems, parents and the business community. Alabama's ability to set high standards gives our students the greatest opportunity to compete in a 21st century global workforce that requires highly-skilled workers.”

Sally Smith, J.D., Alabama Association of School Boards:

“Alabama has labored for years under an onerous and misguided ESEA model. This proposal rectifies the unintended consequences, addresses key concerns and uncertainty for school systems, and provides strengthened authority on behalf of state and local governance. AASB supports ESSA returning flexibility and innovation for our state and local boards without the use of waivers and other patchwork approaches. We applaud U.S. Representative Martha Roby for her leadership in recognizing states’ authority to determine education standards and high expectations for students.”

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