Time is reporting that NCLB is on track for a quick reauthorization in the next Congress. The Democratic Congress has done the background work for NCLB and children’s health insurance. If the Dems add to their majority, as expected, they should be able to move both issues through the legislative process, the article says.
The article assumes that congressional Democrats will be united on NCLB issues. But in the past two months, it’s become clear that Democratic interest groups disagree on the law’s most important details. See the dueling statements from the “Broader, Bolder” and Klein/Sharpton crowds. And look at my item from last week about the split between civil rights groups and the NEA over accountability. Congress’ Democratic leadership will have a lot of work to do to satisfy both sides of the debate. (Republicans, by the way, have their own divisions over education policy.)
Charlie Barone sees the potential for the combination of health and education policies to bridge the Democrats’ divide. That would take some crafty legislative maneuvering.
One more comment on the Time article: Notice how it only quotes senators. If the reporters talked to House members, they might have heard about how hard it’s going to be to unify Democrats on NCLB. (See entries here or here.)
Who out there thinks that Congress will be done revamping NCLB in 2009?
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.