A Romney Administration will work closely with Congress to strengthen NCLB by reducing federal micromanagement while redoubling efforts to provide transparency and accountability. The school interventions required by NCLB will be replaced by a requirement that states provide parents and other citizens far greater transparency about results. In particular, states will be required to provide report cards that evaluate schools and districts on an A through F or similar scale, based primarily on their contribution to achievement growth. These report cards will provide accurate and easy-to-understand information about student and school performance, as well as information about per-pupil spending in the local district.
States will continue to design their own standards and tests, but information on the state’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) performance will appear on the school and district report cards, and the grading system will be standardized so that states with poor NAEP performance cannot assign artificially high grades to their schools. States will also continue to disaggregate and report achievement levels by student subgroup for each subject, and within each school and district.
Recruiting and rewarding great teachers. A world-class education system requires world-class teachers in every classroom. Research confirms that students assigned to more effective teachers not only learn more, but they also are also less likely to have a child as a teenager and more likely to attend college. We must eliminate barriers to becoming a teacher that are based on credentials unrelated to classroom effectiveness. We must reward those teachers who contribute the most to student learning and provide them with advancement opportunities. And we must insist on contract provisions that allow for the removal of those educators who are unable to do the job effectively.
By emphasizing choice, accountability, and teacher quality, instead of simply throwing more money at challenges that have long since proven themselves unresponsive to increased spending, we can build an education system worthy of our next generation.