President Barack Obama announced Friday that States could apply for waivers on the provision of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) that requires school proficiency in math and reading by 2014.
“In its implementation, No Child Left Behind had some serious flaws that are hurting our children instead of helping,” Obama said. “If states want more flexibility, they’re going to need to set higher standards.”
According to Obama’s plan, for the States to receive a waiver, they must adopt education policy changes the Administration deems necessary. Many Republicans believe Obama is becoming too involved in education regulation, overstepping the rights of the Federal government to set certain mandates on State curricula.
According to The Hill, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said he is very disappointed in the President’s sidestepping Congress to make decisions about school mandates.
“President Obama’s efforts represent a fundamental and dramatic shift in authority from Congress to the administration,” he said. “This action today clearly politicizes education policy, which traditionally has been a bipartisan issue that attracts support from both parties. It is the responsibility of Congress to develop policy, and the president’s proposal is an attempt to affect change outside the legislative process.”
Obama’s waivers will prevent schools failing by NCLB standards from facing significant penalties, including staff firings, principal replacements, school closings or charter replacements.