Arne Duncan channels his inner conservative.

Well not really but Arne told the states that they can expect some relief from No Child Left Behind pressures.

Providing Our Schools Relief from No Child Left Behind

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

When I was superintendent in Chicago, I never looked forward to a call from Washington telling me what I have to do. Now that I’m in Washington, I try not to make those calls.

Our job is to support reform that is good for students at the state and local level.  We need to get out of the way wherever we can.  We need to be tight on the goals but loose on the means of achieving them — providing as much flexibility as possible, while maintaining meaningful accountability for improving student outcomes and closing achievement gaps.

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) got it backwards — it was loose on the goals but tight on the means — and today it’s forcing states into one-size-fits-all solutions that just don’t work.

The President understands this and he has directed the Department of Education to move ahead in providing relief in return for reform.

With the new school year fast approaching and still no bill to reform NCLB, it’s time to create a process for states to gain flexibility from key provisions of the law, provided that they are willing to embrace education reform.

We will not be giving states a pass on accountability. There will be a high bar for states seeking flexibility within the law, working off a framework that the states themselves have put together with the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Over the past few days, I have talked with more than half of the nation’s governors, and they are pushing us to provide the relief they desperately need and want.

There is no magic bullet for fixing education, and the best ideas will always come from the local level, where hardworking men and women in our schools are doing the hard work every day to educate our children.

We’re still hopeful that Congress can continue its work this fall because a strong bipartisan reauthorization continues to be essential.  In the meantime, states and districts have an opportunity to move forward and receive relief from NCLB’s mandates.

Let’s not forget that No Child was not a Democrat program, passed in 2001, it was a Republican program which had a stated goal of increasing the education of all children by holding school districts accountable for not achieving specific goals.  It turns out that rather than teach at a higher proficiency some schools just decided to cheat.  Google Atlanta Schools cheat and you will find the story.  No doubt there are more.

The answer to the problem of schools cheating on the proficiency tests from the Obama administration is listed above in Arne Duncan’s blog that the DOE will be pulling the teeth out of NCLB.  This is nothing more than another nod to the unions who no doubt complained about the accountability of NCLB.  Note this comment from Duncan,

There is no magic bullet for fixing education, and the best ideas will always come from the local level, where hardworking men and women in our schools are doing the hard work every day to educate our children.

This obvious nod to the union and the backing from pressures of NCLB, is the Obama Administrations way of soothing the NEA due to the charter school stance of the administration.  While supporting the reelection of the President by passing a motion at the 2011 convention, well before it would be needed the teachers no doubt bought themselves a reprieve from NCLB.

Let’s not forget that Barack has his own program out there.  Race to the Top.  Which competes in structure with NCLB.  In order to make his plan the primary he needs congress to get rid of No Child.  You have to wonder, just like with other forward thinking agenda items, why the Democrats did not get them done while they had both houses of congress and the Presidency.  Now with the opposition in charge of the house the President is  (As is his custom)  bypassing law with waivers and circumvention of law.

This is to the House.   Pass a bill defunding the Department of Education and killing NCLB and RTTT.  Stop spending our money to run a department in Washington and return the power to the states.  Like Arne said. It is the local people who should reform education.  Problem solved.  Wanna bet the Senate tables it also!

For you non tea party folks education has always, up until Carter, been a states issue.  It should be again






Filed under Education Reform

3 responses to “Arne Duncan channels his inner conservative.

  1. SpeakUPNJ

    Wow…the White House power ball payolla machine for Unions nits another Big One again. Is there a room in White House set aside for the folks to come in and cash in their votes for executive orders on their behalf. This action is only surprising to an independent that voted blindly for Obama and straight Progressive Democrat in 2008…everyone else on the left and right already knew…if you elect a politician that got his stripes in the sewers of Chicago…you elect corruption into government. “So, go ahead, step up….how many votes are ya selling today?”

  2. mikeh

    Yeah, I heard about the Atlanta school teachers having their erasure parties to ‘fix’ wrong answers on the students’ tests. I took that to heart.

    Now when I read something I don’t like I just cut and paste something that makes me smile.

    Your blog makes me smile, Mike.

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