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President Announces Waivers For No Child Left Behind, Time For Congress To Get Back In The Boxing Ring

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September 23, 2011 09:04 pm


President Barack Obama announced today sweeping changes in his administration’s plan for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly known as Child Left Behind. He unveiled that the Department of Education will begin to issue waivers to states from NCLB by following general guidelines.

In his latest video, Alliance President Bob Wise — former governor of West Virginia — compares Obama’s latest move to a boxing ring. Obama said he is allowing waivers because Congress refused to act since NCLB expired three years ago.

Wise said waivers are a step forward but the only real solution is for Congress to pass full legislation necessary for education reform.

“The Executive Branch has chosen to move forward with waivers because Congress hasn’t acted,” Wise said. “So here’s the challenge — Congress, climb back in the ring, duke it out. Pass the legislation that truly leads to education reform and takes away the need for waivers. When you do that, you score a knock out for our kids. There’s still time’



Gov. Wise also released an official statement in response to the Obama Administration’s announcement on changes to No Child Left Behind policy:

“Today is the most important day for federal education policy since the signing of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act nearly ten years ago. Recognizing that NCLB is a compact disk in an iPod world, President Obama has announced the opportunity for much needed flexibility from many of the law’s requirements in exchange for rigorous reform. Although a bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would be preferable to this state-by-state approach, Congress has yet to act. I applaud the Administration for moving forward.

This new policy reinforces the efforts underway in nearly every state to strengthen the nation’s education system through higher college- and career-ready standards. Far too many students, especially students of color from traditionally underserved communities, have been stuck in schools with low expectations – and low results. Through higher standards, aligned assessments, and other support to strengthen instruction, the nation’s students will once again out-perform their peers across the globe.

Critical to the Administration’s flexibility policy is its inclusion of the nation’s high schools. States and school districts will be required to include graduation rates along side with test scores in determining the effectiveness of the nation’s high schools. More importantly, high schools with graduation rates below 60 percent – commonly referred to as “dropout factories” – will be required to implement real reform.
Patience is no virtue in education reform. Our students have waited long enough for an education policy that will support their success. I applaud the action taken by the Obama Administration today, and encourage Congress to act as well and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.”


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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.