Would a Democratic President Bring Big Changes?

March 06, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Over at Campaign K-12, Mark Walsh reports on Monday’s panel discussion on presidential politics at the American Enterprise Institute. Near the bottom, he includes this quote from William A. Galston: “I don’t think that NCLB will survive in anything like its current form” if a Democrat become president.

Galston, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, worked in the domestic policy shop in the Clinton White House and had a hand in designing the 1994 version of the Elementary and Secondary Act. He predicts that a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress would create something that looks more like the 1994 law than NCLB.

I’m not so sure about that. It’s hard to predict what would happen to NCLB if Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., win in November. Based on what they’ve said on the campaign trail in these YouTube videos and on their Web sites (see his and hers), they wouldn’t end the testing or accountability provisions under NCLB. But they leave lots of questions unanswered. Would testing be less frequent? Would accountability rules give negative labels to fewer schools? Even if the answer to both questions is yes, the law could still expect more from states than the 1994 version.

What’s more, Congress will have a significant role in this process. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., are likely to stay in charge of the congressional education committees. Both helped write NCLB and will want to put their stamp on its replacement. Would they endorse a Democratic president’s plan to go back to the 1994 policies?

Right now, I think it’s too early to predict. And I don’t think we’ll get many clues in coming months. Education hasn’t been a major issue for the candidates and it doesn’t look as if it’s going to become one. Unless it does, we won’t have a clear idea of where NCLB is headed until the president takes office.

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


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
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.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

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: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week