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John McCain on NCLB? It’s Anyone’s Guess

By Michele McNeil — February 04, 2008 1 min read
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Unless Mitt Romney can pull off a N.Y. Giants-esque upset on Super Tuesday, Republican John McCain seems destined to claim the Republican presidential nomination.

And so I went searching again for more insight into how Sen. McCain might change the No Child Left Behind Act. On his Web site, you can find a little bit about his education ideas, including a video where he extols the benefits of school choice. But I’m still left wanting to know more about what specific changes he’d like to make to President Bush’s signature education law.

Perhaps most telling, in March 2007, the senator’s hometown newspaper, the Arizona Republic, did a story on the state Congressional delegation’s views on NCLB and McCain did not respond to “repeated requests for comment.”

In 2005, McCain told CNN’s Larry King the act was a “major milestone.”

A campaign spokesman told The Hill last year that McCain generally supports NCLB, but would like more emphasis on math and science. The spokesman then said that McCain could withhold support for renewing the law depending on what’s in the bill. Thanks -- that helps a lot.

According to this National Education Association account of a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last year, Sen. McCain advocated for more flexibility in measuring progress in students with disabilities and English-language learners.

What I’ve found in various news stories and speech transcripts is that Sen. McCain feels NCLB is a great start. Well, then, where does he think the law needs to go from here?

(UPDATE: A colleague reminded me of the EdWeek story we did back in 2000, which might shed some more light on this topic.)