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Bonamici Joins President at White House for Signing of Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Public Education

December 10, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC [12/10/15] – Today, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a law that will replace No Child Left Behind and advance new K-12 education policies. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), a member of the House Education Committee, served on the select panel of House and Senate members that helped negotiate the new law. As part of this process, provisions authored by Congresswoman Bonamici to reduce testing in schools and support interdisciplinary educational programs were included in the bipartisan bill.

Congresswoman Bonamici was invited to stand with the President at the White House for the bill signing. You can watch the video here:

“For the last 14 years, we’ve lived under No Child Left Behind’s flawed provisions, which left our educators, students, and parents frustrated,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “One of the top reasons I came to Congress was to strengthen public education. Today, President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act to give more control to states and school districts and reduce the high-stakes testing that has stifled much of the joy of teaching and learning. The new law will also help address resource inequities and give educators, who know what’s best for their students, a voice in how to strengthen schools.

“It was an honor to serve on the bipartisan panel that finalized the bill President Obama signed. But our job doesn’t end here. I look forward to working closely with the Department of Education as the law is implemented to make sure it best serves our students, parents, and educators. Our country’s economic future depends on providing all students with access to quality public education.”

Congresswoman Bonamici successfully included a provision in the bill to help states and school districts audit their testing systems and eliminate redundant or unnecessary tests. The Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act also provides states and local education agencies with support to improve their use of assessment data, which could include providing more time for educators to design instruction based on test results and speeding the delivery of test data to students and families.

During the final negotiations, Congresswoman Bonamici successfully added an amendment to support schools that integrate arts and design into science, technology, engineering, and math—or STEM—courses. Congresswoman Bonamici is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, which advocates for integrating the arts into STEM to teach students creative thinking and problem solving.