Feds, Duncan to Grant Waivers to Bypass “Bad Law” of NCLB

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the Federal government will grant waivers from NCLB’s mandates to states offering plans for education reform.

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Washington, DC — United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that the Department of Education will grant waivers that free states from the requirements of No Child Left Behind, which Duncan dismissed as a “bad law.” Application details for states will come in September, as Duncan and the Department solidify their vision for rewarding states that embrace a host of education reform alternatives to NCLB.

Duncan said that NCLB was, “Far too punitive, far too prescriptive,” and was responsible for a “dumbing down of standards and a narrowing of curriculum.” Waivers granted by the Department are intended to reward state and school leaders eager to reform their education departments by giving them greater flexibility.

Congressional renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been delayed for years despite President Obama’s plea for renewal in January’s State of the Union, a reiteration in March, and an op-ed from Secretary Duncan in June.

Duncan lamented the state of ESEA re-authorization, pleading that, “We’d like to see Congress act. There’s no question [re-authorization] should have happened. We can’t afford to wait… [It] should be bipartisan… Congress just hasn’t acted.”

The White House’s decision to grant waivers also stems from the economic necessity of improving the nation’s education outcomes. “We have to educate our way to a better economy,” Duncan said. “It’s the only way we’re going to get there.”

States that do not “embrace reform” will simply function under the existing No Child Left Behind law. Duncan said that he would like to see all 50 states apply for a waiver and that he’s seen tremendous support from state leaders for the waiver proposal. “I haven’t spoken to one governor who wasn’t enthusiastic about this,” Duncan said.

The Department will announce details of the flexibility plan in September, but Duncan was adamant about a focus on quality. “We need an accountability system that holds everyone responsible,” said Duncan. He added that “Our [the Department's] job is to support reform and encourage it at the state and local level… [and to] get out of the way whenever we can.”

Duncan struck a preemptive blow to critics of costly education measures by noting that, “It doesn’t cost a nickel to fix the law.”

Duncan added, “The best ideas will always come from the local level.”

Comments


  1. Feds, Duncan to Grant Waivers to Bypass “Bad Law” of NCLB | moregoodstuff.info

    [...] Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the Federal government will grant waivers from NCLB’s mandates to states offering plans for education reform. Read More [...]


  2. Daily Quotable | Ed Policy Today

    [...] U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, upon announcing that the federal government will grant waivers from NCLB’s mandates to [...]

Leave a comment

Monday

August 8th, 2011

admin

On Twitter

Google to promote coding #education for its female and minority employees http://t.co/i9HD40a7gw #edtech #edchat

5 days ago

With $2bil price tag, FCC approves updates to E-Rate program for school, library Wi-Fi http://t.co/s6aHachDcH #edtech #education #edchat

5 days ago

George Fox Univ granted exemption on transgender dorm case http://t.co/hCMGMDVEoX #highered #edchat #education

5 days ago

On Facebook

Subscribe

Enter your email to subscribe to daily Education News!

Hot Topics

Career Index

Plan your career as an educator using our free online datacase of useful information.

View All