• Knowledge Alliance Letter of Support for the Every Student Succeeds Act

    December 1, 2015

    The Honorable Lamar Alexander
    Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    The Honorable John Kline
    Chairman, United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
    2176 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    The Honorable Patty Murray, Ranking Member
    Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations
    135 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC  20515
    The Honorable Bobby Scott
    Ranking Member, United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
    2101 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Sen. Alexander, Sen. Murray, Rep. Kline, and Rep. Scott,

    Knowledge Alliance is writing to support S.1177, the “Every Student Succeeds Act.” As a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on improving education by advocating for the widespread, effective use of research-based knowledge in policy and practice, we believe this legislation includes several provisions that will encourage the use of evidence by states and districts, as well as drive new innovations in the field, that will lead to improvements in teaching and learning.

    We are encouraged that the bill includes a tiered “evidence-based” definition that supports innovation as well as the scaling up of proven programs and practices. We also support the higher bar applied to Title I-A interventions and the priority for competitive programs that meet this bar. Knowledge Alliance also appreciates the recognition of the role of the Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) program in providing technical assistance to states and districts as they work to apply the evidence definition.

    In addition, we believe the legislation contains several other important provisions, including the:

    • Education Innovation and Research program—with its own reservation of funds—under Title IV, Part F;
    • Provisions in Sections 1003 and 1111 encouraging states and districts to work with external providers “with expertise in using evidence-based strategies;”
    • Language in Section 1002 and Title XIII for the evaluation of ESEA programs and the pooling of set aside funds; and
    • 95 percent participation testing requirement in state accountability systems to ensure data validity.

    Thank you again for your efforts to successfully reauthorize this critically important law. We congratulate you for reaching a bipartisan agreement. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of any further assistance.

    Sincerely,

    Michele McLaughlin
    President, Knowledge Alliance

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