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Senator Michael Bennet Proposes Group to Examine Education Policy

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Earlier this week Colorado Senator Michael Bennet announced legislation to create an education task force.  In addition, he and a fellow senator are forming a working group that will work while the bill makes its way through Congress.

The Colorado Democrat along with Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander say that federal, state and local education policy is often confusing and hard for educators to keep straight.  So the pair has introduced a bill that would create a task force to examine education policy. 

“And in the meantime, Lamar and I have agreed to set up a working group that will use Tennessee and Colorado, two pretty progressive states when it comes to education reform, as a place to begin to look at this question of what are we regulating and why – and are there more sensible ways to do it,” says Bennet.

The work of the group will start immediately, and will ultimately try and make sure that teachers’ and students’ time is spent in the best way possible.

“Every minute that a teacher spends on an unneeded rule or test is a minute that could be devoted to teaching a child. So we want teachers and principals in Tennessee and Colorado to tell us which regulations, which tests are useful and which ones we can get rid of,” says Alexander.

The working group will look at assessment systems in the two states and try to determine their effectiveness.  Tennessee’s governor and Governor John Hickenlooper will be part of that working group along with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Senators Bennet and Alexander.  All of this work comes as lawmakers work to overhaul the 10-year-old No Child Left Behind Act.