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WW’s Call for Federal/State Balance in Education Policy

New Jersey Teaching Fellow Jen Lee works with her students on a lab exercise at Pemberton High School in Pemberton, N.J.

New Jersey Teaching Fellow Jen Lee works with her students on a lab exercise at Pemberton High School in Pemberton, N.J.

As the 114th Congress begins this week, much attention is on education issues. Senator Lamar Alexander, the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has already expressed his desire to fast-track legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind.

Such reauthorization will undoubtedly result in debates on the proper role of the federal government in education. In a recent commentary for The Hill, Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine discusses the need for a good balance between the federal and state governments when it comes to education policy, noting that important innovations in education are currently coming from the states.

In highlighting the work being done by Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships, Levine notes:

Even without specific changes to HEA, each of these states is taking bold steps to redesign its teacher prep programs to meet the individual needs of its state, in particular, its high-need schools and communities. As the needs are urgent, these states are not standing idly by, waiting for the federal government to act. They are mobilizing on their own, within their communities, to make a difference. With a set of shared basic principles each state and its partner universities, specific needs are being identified, the best prospective educators are being recruited to fill those needs, and data is being collected to determine progress and success. The result? Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows will touch the lives of more than 1.5 million students over a 15-year teaching career.

Learn more from Arthur Levine’s The Hill commentary here.


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