Sunday, January 31, 2010

"No Child Left Behind" Being Left Behind?

The New York Times has an interesting article about the Obama administration's attempt to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law.

No Child Left Behind is the comprehensive law that deals with the federal government's role in education. The NCLB law has been around in various forms, names and incarnations since President Johnson.  It has been rewritten, revised, retooled and re-everything a number of times since then.  Most educators and politicians agree that the most recent version (written in 2001 under President Bush) needs a comprehensive overhaul, but it doesn't seem to be a legislative priority for 2010.  Also, like most things in Washington, everyone has a hard time agreeing on what exactly needs to be fixed.

The Times article notes that former Senator Edward Kennedy had a huge role in pushing the 2001 revision through the congress. Working closely with President Bush, Kennedy was able to help craft a bipartisan bill that both sides of the aisle could agree on. Say what you will about Kennedy's liberal politics but it members of congress generally agreed that he was able to foster bipartisanship like few others. Without Senator Kennedy, it will be much more difficult to get all sides of the issue to agree and compromise. Following Kennedy's death of cancer in 2009, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) replaced him as the chairman of the Senate's education committee. According to the Times article, Harkin doesn't seem to be in a hurry to rewrite the bill.

What do think of the NCLB law?  The Tank would love to hear your thoughts - leave them in the Comments section.

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