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Duncan Argues for Fast-Tracking ESEA; Kline Says No Way

By Michele McNeil — June 01, 2011 1 min read

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may wish that Congress moved on “real people’s time,” rather than “Washington time,” when it comes to reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. But not all wishes come true—not even for a cabinet secretary.

At a campaign stop Tuesday in Minnesota, Duncan once again implored Congress to act swiftly to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act.

“We desperately want to see this done before schools go back in the fall,” he said during a discussion with local educators, according to this Associated Press story. “This can’t be done on Washington time. It needs to happen on real people’s time.”

But Rep. John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who is the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is not persuaded. Last month, he declared there was “no chance” of meeting Duncan’s back-to-school deadline. Yesterday, he said in a statement that rather than focusing on “timelines and rhetoric” in advance of an “arbitrary” deadline, his committee is focused on “thoughtful reform initiatives.”

“Our education system is in critical need of improvement, but we have all seen what can result when Congress hastily crafts sweeping legislation to meet an arbitrary deadline,” he said.