By Alyson Klein
Both houses of Congress are about to consider bills to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
But the Obama administration is worried that neither version of the legislation does enough to ensure states stay focused on struggling schools and on closing the achievement gap. And it cant support either bill at this point, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Monday.
The White House has already threatened to veto the House legislation. But its stopping short of issuing a similar threat against the Senate bill.
Low-performing schools and students remain persistent problems at the state level, the administration argues. For instance, in the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in each state—as identified by the Obama administration—only 36 percent of students hit grade-level proficiency in reading on state tests, compared to 67 percent in all other schools, according to a report released Monday by the White House.