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Ear to the Ground

Obama Guts No Child Left Behind

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Posted on Aug 9, 2011
Flickr / stuartpilbrow (CC-BY-SA)

The Obama administration on Monday gave states a break from the ailing No Child Left Behind law, allowing them to file waivers that grant flexibility in meeting science and math proficiency standards.

The Bush-era law is four years overdue for reauthorization, and even though Obama sent an overhaul proposal to Congress more than 16 months ago, the discord on Capitol Hill has all but ensured the law won’t be revamped before the start of the school year.

The waiver being offered to states comes in light of the fact that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has warned that 82 percent of U.S. schools may very well be labeled failures under the existing rules. —BF

The San Francisco Chronicle:

Tired of waiting for Congress to act, Obama told Duncan to move forward with giving waivers to states, said Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council for the White House.

“We have a federal law that’s an impediment, that’s getting in the way as a disincentive for the great work states are doing,” Duncan said in a call with reporters Monday. “That just doesn’t make sense at a time when we have to get better faster than ever before.”

Republicans bristled at the move.

“I share the sense of urgency felt by state and local education officials across the nation. Unfortunately, more questions than answers surround the secretary’s waivers proposal,” said House education committee Chairman John Kline of Minnesota.

A handful of states had already filed waivers begging for flexibility, while others simply said they were going to ignore the requirements of the law this year.

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By JodieM, September 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the program of No child left behind is too difficult to attain does that mean that it is okay to leave some children behind.  Depending on the school that you attend in the US determines the quality of education a child will receive.  I don’t believe that any of our children should be left behind which is happening to a large number of black children.  When this child attempts to go to college he’s going to be left behind and forced to take remedial classes.  I met a young black man that was the Valedictorian of his high school but was struggling in college.  He had attended an all black high school.  I believe the no child left behind law is a very good idea that should not be abandoned.  Regarding the drug plan that was not paid for, again a very good program for the elderly and disabled, so pay for it!

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By Rodney, August 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No child of a millionaire left behind was what
Bush really did to America. No child left behind
created no real learning and caused educators to
teach the test. It also created unrealistic
expectations for students and created conditions
where administrators cheated on tests in order to
keep their jobs. By the way that was another failed
Bush program supported by Republicans in congress
like homeland security dept of tsa tax cuts for the
rich two wars and a drug prescription plan and bank
bailouts that was put on America’s credit card. Now
all of a sudden we spent too much money and the same
people who did this almost caused our country to
default. The surprising part is Republicans still win
office. Only in America.

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By Jim Yell, August 10, 2011 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “No Child Left Behind” was always a lie and a waste of money. George Bush over sold program only had good figures because the performance was enhanced by crowding out the low achievers from schools. It left plenty of children behind and wrecked and wasted tax money, money that could have been spent on actually teaching. It also had the effect of encouraging wildly inaccurate “facts” to give some people access to the lolly.

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By gerard, August 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Haggling over test scores and trying to legislate higher achievement is never going to do anything except undermine achievement and sabotage cooperation in working to improve public education.
Part of it is a charade to distract public attention from real problems in regional and district differences.  If they have their way, the right wing will make a battleground out of every public institution and every initiative for free and equal education.

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By Gale, August 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Was Terry McGraw, whose company McGraw Hill designed No Child Left Behind and made trillions off the sale of textbooks and cirriculum, so angry—he had his company Standard and Poor’s downgrade our bond rating.  I wonder how much money Terry and his cronnies at The Business Roundtable made with insider arbitrage trading during the past two weeks.  Can someone tell me?
Gale Wheat

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