The new makeup of the House of Representatives has brought with it new leadership on the House Education and Workforce Committee, and fresh ideas about education policy. Chairman John Kline (R-MN), at the helm of the committee that will be charged with overseeing a possible reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) this year, is already asking hard questions through a series of committee hearings on the effects of ever-growing federal involvement in education.
Last Thursday, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a full committee hearing to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s classrooms. The hearing included testimony from Ted Mitchell, CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund; Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom; Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction; and Lisa Graham Keegan, founder and president of the Education Breakthrough Network.
The hearing comes as national policymakers consider a possible reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the implications for local schools. Each of the expert witnesses’ testimonies on the subject favored empowering those closer to the student. In his testimony, Bennett urged the federal government to get out of the way of states so that state and local leaders can more effectively meet student needs: