Frustrated by what he called a “slow motion train wreck” for U.S. schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he will give schools relief from federal mandates under the No Child Left Behind law if Congress drags its feet on the law’s long-awaited overhaul and reauthorization.
That could mean everything from granting waivers on test score requirements to flexibility on how schools spend federal funding, though Duncan offered few details because he said the department is just beginning to work on its plan.
The Obama administration has called for an overhaul of the 9-year-old federal education law by the fall, but lawmakers have indicated that won’t be possible. Duncan told reporters Friday that his first goal is for Congress to rewrite the law but he wants to put other plans in place in case that doesn’t happen this year.
“This is absolutely plan B,” Duncan said. “The prospect of doing nothing is what fighting against.”
Well the Chiefs for Change who want the existing NCLB guidelines with its heavy-handed school failure mechanisms aren’t going to be getting their way. I’m wondering if John Kline isn’t making a mistake in slow walking this. In doing so, he’s giving Obama something to hammer away at Republicans on next fall. NCLB isn’t as popular among independent voters as the GOP establishment believes.