Education

Stay-the-Course Strategy Could Preserve NCLB--or Backfire

April 04, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

“They’d rather stick with what they’ve got than deal with some wholesale retrenchment” on NCLB, Kevin Carey of Education Sector told me yesterday when we discussed Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ graduation-rate announcement.

It may be a good strategy. As I wrote back in January, the law is permanently authorized. If Congress doesn’t revise it this year, it might not get to it next year, given that the next president is unlikely to take on K-12 issues as his or her first priority. This law could stay in place without big changes until 2010.

But is that a good long-term strategy? Maybe not. The longer NCLB is out there as it is today, the more the people with vested interests in changing it are going to be motivated to overhaul it.

Take, for example, school board members. As Lawrence Hardy reports over at “Leading Source,” NSBA members recently reversed their position on encouraging states to seek federal money to create regional networks that would set common academic standards. The reason: Endorsing such compacts could eventually lead to federal standards. “Washington’s not too popular with school board members right now,” Hardy writes. (I think he’s understating the sentiment.) That’s the case, in large part, because school board members don’t like NCLB’s rules on accountability and highly qualified teachers.

When Congress gets around to fixing NCLB, school board members will be among the crowd pushing for major changes. And the longer they work under the current law, the more changes they may want in it. The same goes for teacher unions, superintendents, and even members of Congress.

Staying the course may be best for the short term, but not the long term.

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

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Centering the Whole Child in School Improvement Planning and Redesign
Learn how leading with equity and empathy yield improved sense of belonging, attendance, and promotion rate to 10th grade.

Content provided by Panorama
Teaching Profession Webinar Examining the Evidence: Supports to Promote Teacher Well-Being
Rates of work dissatisfaction are on the rise among teachers. Grappling with an increased workload due to the pandemic and additional stressors have exacerbated feelings of burnout and demoralization. Given these challenges, what can the

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read