As NCLB Renewal Stalls, Duncan Vows Flexibility
As the clock ticks toward President Barack Obama’s back-to-school deadline for rewriting the No Child Left Behind Act, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is preparing to grant states relief from key provisions of the federal school accountability law in exchange for what he calls “commitments to key reforms.”
The move comes as pressure mounts for Mr. Duncan to give more flexibility to states and districts nervously eyeing the law’s 2014 deadline for ensuring all students are “proficient” in reading and math. Even though the secretary said late last week he’s optimistic that Congress will by this fall reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of which NCLB is the current version, he said he has a “moral obligation” to prepare a fallback plan.
“The worst-case scenario is that Congress does nothing, and we do nothing,” Mr. Duncan said in a June 10...
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