President Obama Sets Out Timeline for Reform of No Child Left Behind Act

A March 22 Straight A’s article describes President Obama’s timeline for revising the federal “No Child Left Behind Act” and the Congressional response:

During a March 14 speech at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia, President Obama outlined several fixes to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and called on Congress to send him a bill that reforms the law before the start of the next school year.  …

Citing a need for more money and more reform, Obama pointed to Race to the Top as an example of the “bottom-up approach” needed in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as NCLB. Obama said NCLB’s goals—educating every child with an excellent teacher, raising standards, accountability, and a focus on achievement gaps—were the right ones. But he also cited the need to graduate students ready for college and careers and provide teachers with the pay and support they deserve.  …

In reaction to Obama’s speech, Representative John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, told The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill, that there was a “common recognition” that the status quo is unacceptable and NCLB needs to be replaced. However, he added that he was not going to rush a rewrite of the law and do it wrong. “We need to take the time to get this right—we cannot allow an arbitrary timeline to undermine quality reforms that encourage innovation, flexibility, and parental involvement,” Kline said.

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