OBAMA:: No Child Left Behind Waivers Let Team Obama Seize Control Of Your Child’s Education | Fox News
President Obama has mistaken bipartisan dissatisfaction with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for a mandate to unilaterally re-write federal education law. This was evident last September, when the White House announced the Education Department would start granting waivers to exempt states from meeting NCLB requirements.
At that time, Congress had already been working for more than a year to craft various alternatives to the broken law. Lawmakers had gotten input from state and local leaders at a series of hearings and were engaging in a thoughtful process about how to reform federal education policy.
But the Obama administration wouldn’t wait for the legislative process to work. Instead, it told Congress that time was up. From here on, it decreed, the Education Department would start exempting states from the law, provided they agreed to abide by the administration’s preferred policies.
And that’s the catch: these are not simply waivers to provide relief to states from the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind. These are conditions-based waivers, and the strings attached to this “relief” further tether states to Washington.
Today, the administration announced the first 10 states to “win” waivers.
The Department of Education has decided that Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, having promised to toe the line on Secretary Arne Duncan’s key policy preferences, will not have to meet the performance standards set forth in NCLB.
New Mexico’s application for a waiver was rejected, but it appears the Land of Enchantment will indeed amend its application and work with the Department to ensure it kowtows enough to receive a waiver as well.
Make no mistake. States need relief from No Child Left Behind. It’s a flawed law, and the bill’s 600-plus pages of legislative language—combined with additional thousands of pages of regulations—burden state and local leaders while failing to improve educational outcomes. Instead, it has merely deepened Washington’s involvement in local education, continued a maze of non-performing federal education programs, and fueled a massive increase in federal education spending.