News Daily Spot: Obama signed a new education law that returns power to the states of USA

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Obama signed a new education law that returns power to the states of USA

US President Barack Obama today signed a new education law that restores the authority of states and local districts on school performance, after nearly 14 years of strict federal control in that area.

The measure is an amendment to the law "No Child Left Behind" ("No Child Left Behind") signed in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush, and generated strong criticism from educators for trying to impose, in the words of Obama, "one model" to all schools and students.

That law expired in 2007, but disagreements between Republicans and Democrats so far delayed the adoption of new legislation, which will regulate the investment of 26,000 million annually in education from kindergarten to age 18.

"This is a big step in the right direction, a true bipartisan effort," Obama said in signing the law, entitled "Every Student Succeeds" ("Let every student be successful").

Throughout the reform process, Democrats were concerned about the possibility of the loss of federal control over schools would harm minorities or low-income families, and caused disparities in access to education among states or school districts .

"Every child, regardless of race, family income, their origins or zip code where you live, deserves the opportunity to advance to where you want in life," said Obama.

The first law requires states to include students who are learning English in their system of accountability and apply criteria to identify those students, which could benefit "almost 5 million" of children, mostly Hispanic According to estimates by the organization National Council of La Raza.

Otherwise, the main change is required by law to federal guidelines defining the quality of schools.

Now the states which will create their own accountability systems and determine how to intervene in schools that are within 5% of worst performing institutions, and those with low graduation rates.

The new law maintains the annual tests in reading and mathematics for grades three through eight, while high school students will only have to undergo screening once.

However, the law also requires states to impose limits on the amount of time students spend doing standardized tests.

Another aim of the law is that more children of low-income families have access to high-quality preschool education through a new grant program that will use existing funds.

While most educators and teachers' unions have welcomed the law, others have expressed concern about the possibility that the increased power of the states allows them to mask the true academic performance of schools. EFE

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