Obama Guts No Child Left Behind

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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