Lawmakers to discuss possible changes to school standards

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JEFFERSON CITY- U.S. Congress will discuss possible reauthorization of the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act at the end of February. Those changes could cause standards for schools and educators to change throughout the nation.

The current law is the No Child Left Behind Act which has been in place since 2002. The current act measures student progress through annual tests and through various mandates. The law also restricts Title 1 funding for districts if schools aren't meeting certain levels.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) said there are some advantages to the current law, such as annual testing allowing schools and educators to keep track of student progress from year to year.

DESE Communications Coordinator Sarah Potter said although there are advantages there are also disadvantages to the current law.

"Part of your Title I funding was restricted for tutoring for your students and the district really had little control over the quality of that tutoring, how they were spending it and it was really kind of debatable how helpful it was for the kids," Potter said.

Potter said there are a lot of different ways schools could go about setting standards if reauthorization of the ESEA is approved.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated for content.]