Federal Policy

The 2002 federal education law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), built on the foundation of its predecessor the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Yet NCLB added significant new requirements, particularly in the areas of assessment, accountability, and teacher quality. NCLB has had an impact on every public school in the nation.  NCLB has strengths and weaknesses. The Learning First Alliance is committed to supporting reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB in a way that builds on its strengths and addresses its weaknesses.

In addition, LFA is committed to ensuring that the federal role in education remains appropriate given the instrinsically local nature of public education.

LFA has put together the following resources regarding federal education policies:

LFA Members' Responses to Senate passage of the Every Child Achieve Acts (last updated July 30, 2015)

LFA Member Resources on Sequestration (last updated November 29, 2012)

LFA Members' Responses to President Obama's FY2013 Budget Proposal (last updated February 17, 2012)

LFA Members' Responses to the 2012 State of the Union Address (last updated January 31, 2012)

LFA Members' Responses to the Obama Administration's Waiver Plan (last updated February 10, 2012)

In September 2011, the Obama administration announced that it would issue waivers of certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, including the 2014 deadline that all students be proficient in math and language arts, to states in exchange for commitment to specific education improvement strategies. LFA members responded in various ways to this announcement.

On February 9, 2012, the Obama administration announced the first 10 recipients of these waivers. A number of LFA members issued responses to this announcement as well.

LFA Members' Positions on ESEA Reauthorization (last updated 2010)

Their recommendations for the reauthorization of ESEA, as well as responses to the Obama Administration's reauthorization blueprint.

Alliance Publications on No Child Left Behind

The Alliance provides valuable resources to help educators, policymakers, parents, and community members understand and respond to key elements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Our Practical Guide to Talking with Your Community: No Child Left Behind and Schools in Need of Improvement offers guidance on how to communicate and engage in dialogue with parents, community, media, and school staff about NCLB. Our website section, NCLB: The Basics and More about the Law, contains summaries of key provisions and links to web-based resources explaining the law.

Alliance Position on the Federal Role in Education

In October 2008, the Learning First Alliance released a statement calling for a new federal role in supporting success for all children in America’s public schools. Transforming the Federal Role in America’s Public Schools outlines principles for federal involvement in public K-12 education. It offers a framework to help the government align federal policies with the needs of America’s more than 50 million public school students. The LFA principles emphasize support for students in need, as well as more effective and transparent accountability among key players in the system. The principles also call for greater collaboration among the federal government, states and districts.