Obama Sidesteps Congress In Education Decision
September 26, 2011 by Sam Rolley
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.
‚ÄúIn its implementation, No Child Left Behind had some serious flaws that are hurting our children instead of helping,‚ÄĚ Obama said. ‚ÄúIf states want more flexibility, they‚Äôre going to need to set higher standards.‚ÄĚ
According to Obama‚Äôs 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‚Äôs sidestepping Congress to make decisions about school mandates.
‚ÄúPresident Obama‚Äôs efforts represent a fundamental and dramatic shift in authority from Congress to the administration,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThis 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‚Äôs proposal is an attempt to affect change outside the legislative process.‚ÄĚ
Obama‚Äôs waivers will prevent schools failing by NCLB standards from facing significant penalties, including staff firings, principal replacements, school closings or charter replacements.