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Changes to federal school bill to impact Colo.

Posted at 6:41 PM, Dec 09, 2015

President Barack Obama is expected to sign off on a major change for school districts around the nation, including Colorado.

The majority of the Senate voted on Wednesday to replace the current "No Child Left Behind" bill with one that gives individual states and local districts the final say on how to improve underperforming schools.

The new bill, titled "Every Student Succeeds," also takes away the Federal Governments say on how to evaluate teachers.

“It allows Colorado to be more innovative or to do things differently,” said Van Shoales, the CEO of A+ Denver, a student advocacy group.

He thinks the state is already leading others in the nation in terms of holding districts accountable, but now they’ll have more leverage.

"I think we’re going to have a chance to really sit and talk about, ‘what is the best way to effect change for the folks who need to see it?,” he said.

Ross Izard, the senior education policy analyst for the think tank group The Independence Institute says parents won’t see changes in the classroom just yet.

“It is a very, very long piece of legislation that I think people are still working to parcel through,” he said, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there.”

He likes how the new bill includes the same accountability that "No Child Left Behind" currently does, but it fixes what he considers the current bill’s flaw.

“The federal government is not the best place to be governing education from,” he said.

Among the list, the Federal Government is banned from giving state incentives to use a certain learning standard.

However, Shoales is concerned the bill could impact students at states with a large number of under performing schools.

“There are going to be states in which there are going to be schools that are failing schools,” he said, “and kids are stuck in those schools and I’m not sure things will get much better. 

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