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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

Duncan Supports Education Reform Bill

December 2, 2015

WASHINGTON-- Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. delivered the following remarks on the floor of the House Wednesday in support of a major education reform bill:

Mr. Speaker:

In 2001, I was one of just 45 members of the House who voted against the No Child Left Behind federal education law.

Just 10 of those 45 remain in the House today: Republican Congressmen Sam Johnson, Walter Jones, Joe Pitts, Dana Rohrabacher, Jim Sensenbrenner, Pete Sessions, and myself – and Democrats John Conyers, Bobby Scott, and Maxine Waters.

This turned out to be one of the most popular votes I ever cast, especially with teachers.

I have spoken well over a thousand times in schools through the years, and I voted against the bill in 2001 because I felt the teachers, principals, and parents in East Tennessee had enough common sense and intelligence to run their own schools and classrooms and didn’t need Washington bureaucrats telling them what to do.

The No Child Left Behind law was a great overreaction to failed schools in some of our Nation’s biggest cities, and it needs to be replaced.

Today, I rise in support of the Every Student Succeeds Act, so we can leave behind the No Child Left Behind law.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday published an editorial calling this new bill “a bipartisan compromise” that would be “the largest devolution of federal control in a quarter-century.”

The Paper pointed out that “it’s far better than the status quo which would continue if nothing passes” and described the bill as “a rare opportunity for real reform.”

This bill should please many conservatives because it does away with the Common Core mandate.

This legislation is an example of great work by my own Senator, constituent, and friend Sen. Lamar Alexander.  This bill is just one of many reasons why Sen. Alexander is one of the most respected members of the Other Body, and I commend him for his efforts to improve our Nation’s schools.