Sunday, August 31, 2008

What Happens To NCLB In The Next Presidential Administration?

Of course, real changes will be made by the Congress; the President will either sign or veto those changes. But what have the candidates said about the future of the law?

From Barack Obama's web site:
Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama believes teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

From John McCain's web site:
No Child Left Behind has focused our attention on the realities of how students perform against a common standard. John McCain believes that we can no longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. In this age of honest reporting, we finally see what is happening to students who were previously invisible. While that is progress all its own, it compels us to seek and find solutions to the dismal facts before us.

So is either one of them saying anything substantive here? If so, I'm not seeing it.

I looked these positions up months ago, back when the Hildebeast was still in contention, in consideration of writing a post comparing the educational platforms of the three major candidates. Never got around to writing that post, but decided to write this post after reading this EdWeek post:

At the Republican National Convention in St. Paul this week, President Bush was expected to anoint Sen. John McCain as his successor and the new leader of the party.

But it remains far from clear whether Sen. McCain—and other top Republicans—will continue to embrace the federal mandates on school accountability at the center of the No Child Left Behind Act....

I guess we'll have to wait and see.


Mrs. C said...

"Obama will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law..."

Sounds more that they will make education no longer a state, but a NATIONALLY-funded enterprise. Goodbye, any remnants of state control. In slow steps, probably.

I am leery of the NEA not just for the liberal viewpoints expressed by its administration, but because of its outright hostility toward home education. I have yet to see any real declaration on the part of Obama that every child has the right, not only to a quality education (dubious words which make me wonder who gets to define the standard for "quality"), but the right to home education unimpeded by any involvement on the part of the federal government.

So, I think both candidates are spouting mostly platitudes, but the very *idea* that Obama's platitudes just might be funded has me scared!

rightwingprof said...

Eh. It's probably at the very bottom of my priority list for candidates, unless, of course, it involves stealing more money from people who work for it to waste more money on ineffective educational programs.