Spellings Appears Ready to Defend NCLB for Long Haul

January 11, 2008 1 min read

I’m a little late to blog about Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ agenda-setting speech yesterday. (I was too busy writing a story about it and the rest of the events marking NCLB’s 6th anniversary.)

Eduwonkette says Spellings’ idea of 100 percent proficiency is a fantasy. (A belated welcome to, Ms. Wonkette, whoever you are. People are talking about you.) Kevin Carey is impressed by the secretary’s forceful defense of and knowledge of NCLB, but questions her legal authority to change it. Andy Rotherham sees an “outside chance” of NCLB being reauthorized this year, but warns it might not happen until 2010.

Here’s what I can add to the discussion: All of the others noted that Spellings is unwilling to budge on NCLB’s big issues. Maybe she doesn’t need to compromise. As she said Monday on Air Force One, the law is permanently authorized. It will stay in place until Congress can pass a bill to revise it. The next president certainly will want to change NCLB, but that won’t be at the top of his or her agenda, given what’s being said on the stump. Spellings told me when I profiled her that she plans to be actively involved in education issues after she leaves the administration. I’m guessing she figures she’ll have enough political capital left in 2009 to keep NCLB intact well past President Bush’s last day in office. Maybe even past 2010.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.