On March 13, 2010, the Obama Administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to help states raise expectations of students and reward schools for producing dramatic gains in student achievement.

This blueprint builds on the significant reforms already made in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 around four areas: (1) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness to ensure that every classroom has a great teacher and every school has a great leader; (2) Providing information to families to help them evaluate and improve their children’s schools, and to educators to help them improve their students’ learning; (3) Implementing college- and career-ready standards and developing improved assessments aligned with those standards; and (4) Improving student learning and achievement in America’s lowest-performing schools by providing intensive support and effective interventions.

The reauthorization proposal also stated significant formula grants will continue designed to compensate districts for the expense of educating federally-connected children and for the presence in their districts of tax-exempt federal property or other property removed from the tax rolls by the federal government. Because these funds are compensatory, it is believed by the administration, that districts shall enjoy broad flexibility in the use of these funds.

The proposal also outlines a re-envisioned federal role, giving states and districts additional flexibility in how they spend federal dollars as long as they focus on improving outcomes for students. States and districts will be allowed to use most federal administrative funds and reservations flexibly to build their own capacity to support reform and improvement. Most districts will also be allowed to spend more ESEA program funds flexibly, as long as they continue to comply with the conditions associated with those funds and are improving student outcomes, according to the blueprint.


Read the blueprint in its entirety.