Obama Education Reforms Advance as Congress Falters

Marion Herbert's picture
Friday, January 20, 2012

President Barack Obama's administration is moving ahead in reforming U.S. education without the help of the Congress, and will soon announce which states can opt out of the national education law known as "No Child Left Behind."

There are two bills currently in Congress to re-authorize the decade-old law that radically changed U.S. public schools.

"I don't think either one of those is going to move forward anytime soon, but I think the waiver process that we're doing now is going to be the only game in town," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a meeting of U.S. mayors in the U.S. capital.

"We hope to say 'yes' to the first set of waivers in the next couple of weeks, probably by the end of the month. We'll just do this on a rolling basis," he added.

In September, Obama announced that states could seek waivers from many of No Child Left Behind's key requirements, including one that identified certain schools as "failing."

But they had to agree to establish standards to help students prepare for college, administer tests to gauge student readiness, and reform schools with low graduation rates.

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