Obama Unveils Education Plan
The biggest ed-related news on the national front is the announcement that the DOE will grant waivers to NCLB to states that embrace Race to the Top-style reforms. I like the ends – in the absence of more funding for RTTT, it's a brilliant way to keep advancing the reform agenda – but am uncomfortable with the means. What really needs to happen is Congress needs to renew and fix NCLB – but good luck with that, with this pack of jokers… I went to a lunch with my favorite senator, Colorado's Michael Bennet, on Monday and his stories of the partisanship and self-serving dysfunction in Washington made my stomach turn…
President Barack Obama is replacing key planks of former President George W. Bush's signature No Child Left Behind education law, allowing many schools to escape looming punishment if their states adopt a new set of standards.
Under the new system, which Mr. Obama announced Friday, states would qualify for a waiver from existing rules by requiring, among other things, that evaluations of teachers and principals be linked to the results of student tests and other measures of performance.
In announcing the change, Mr. Obama said his predecessor deserves credit for focusing the education system on accountability and closing achievement gaps, and said schools needs to stay focused on those goals.
"But experience has taught us that in its implementation, No Child Left Behind had some serious flaws that are hurting our children instead of helping them," he said.
The president was introduced by the Republican governor of Tennessee, a move meant to symbolize the bipartisan support his move enjoys among states, if not members of Congress.
- SEPTEMBER 23, 2011, 5:10 P.M. ET