Dept of Ed goes around Congress on NCLB

Jul 7, 2011 by

Pushing back against Obama administration efforts to help states sidestep some provisions of No Child Left Behind, Republicans said this week that a new report questions whether the Education Department has the authority to offer states waivers from parts of the law.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said Education Sec. Arne Duncan could legally grant the waivers for some parts of the law, but others cannot by waived and some could be open to legal challenges.

Duncan’s plan would allow state or local school districts to apply for waivers to circumvent the controversial education law.

But committee Republicans said that Congress, not the administration, should deal with the issue. No Child Left Behind, which was proposed by President George W. Bush and approved by Congress with strong bipartisan support, requires statewide achievement standards, annual assessments of student progress and teacher accountability.

It became law in 2002; it has been reauthorized on an annual basis since 2007, rather than the more typical five-year authorization, which is what a House committee is now considering.

“I remain concerned about the secretary’s proposal to grant waivers in exchange for reforms not authorized by Congress,” said Minnesota Republican John Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “The CRS report illustrates the urgent need for the secretary to share the specifics of his proposal with individual schools and Congress.”

via Education Secretary | School Reform | CRS Report | The Daily Caller.

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