States Cautious on Duncan's NCLB-Flexibility Offer
States seeking relief from the requirements of the 9-year-old No Child Left Behind Act are taking a wait-and-see approach to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s plan to offer those that embrace his reform priorities wiggle room when it comes to the law’s mandates.
But the idea of waivers is already facing hurdles on Capitol Hill—drawing criticism even from the administration allies. And while the department points to waiver powers that Congress included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, some naysayers are wondering whether Mr. Duncan has the legal authority to offer states broad leeway on the law’s accountability requirements.
Details on the waiver proposal remained sketchy last week, but it’s clear that states will have to embrace an all-or-nothing package of reforms from the department in exchange for relief under the ESEA, the current version of which...
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