How long is too long to wait for Education Reform ?
President Obama has pledged to change the 10-year-old No Child Left Behind Law, saying its focus on standardized-testing dumbs down teaching, narrows school curriculums and labels even high- achieving schools as failing.
John Kline (R-MN-02), the current Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, complained about it since before he was ever elected to Congress. Now, he has the responsibility to improve it ….
Meanwhile, 19 states have now have been granted permission to sidestep the statute in exchange for agreeing to elements of the Obama administration’s education agenda — Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee.
Chairman Kline has said Congress should change the law, rather than the administration, through executive orders. Chairman Kline said he has “significant concerns” about waivers that leave states “subject to the changing whims of the Secretary of Education.”
“This plan does not constitute the long-term reform families, schools, and students need,” Kline said in a statement. “It’s a temporary Band-Aid to a problem that must be resolved through legislation.”
In a conference call with reporters, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan said he still prefers that Congress reach a bipartisan agreement to rewrite the law — something it has been unable to do for five years.
“Children cannot wait any longer,” Duncan said. “Teachers can’t wait, and American can’t wait, so we’re moving forward.”
Yes, the Obama Administration is moving forward while Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-07) offers his own agenda starting today with a vote on an abortion and throughout the summer … with no mention of Education reform.
It’s long past time that Congress takes its responsibility to address Education reform. Chairman Kline talks a good game but action is needed. Mike Obermueller, Mr. Kline’s challenger this Fall, recognizes the value in Education, writing on his website :
Education is crucial to the long term sustainability of the American economy. Right now America is 25th in math scores and 21st in science. This is unacceptable if we want America to continue to lead in an ever-competitive world economy. We need to be teaching our students how to be the next generation of innovators and job-creators—not how to memorize answers to a standardized test.
A strong public education system means a strong long-term economy. In order to achieve this, we must lower our class sizes, adopt high standards for schools that reward creativity, train and retain the best teachers and provide higher education that is affordable and accessible to all qualified students.
No more band-aids, No more talk … it’s time for LEADERSHIP … something that has been lacking from Chairman Kline.