Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) struck a bipartisan tone Tuesday, arguing that the federal requirements for evaluating students and teachers set out in No Child Left Behind should be scuttled in favor of state-set standards.
“Everyone knows that today every American’s job is on the line, and that better schools mean better jobs. Schools and jobs are alike in this sense: Washington can’t create good jobs, and Washington can’t create good schools,” writes Alexander, who served as education secretary under President George H.W. Bush, in a New York Times op-ed.
Alexander resigned from Republican Senate leadership last week in a bid to get his “independence back” and work with members of the other party. Noting that education legislation he was proposing so far only attracted Republican support, Alexander said that he wants “to continue to work with our colleagues across the aisle and in the House” to get education reform passed by the end of the year. Alexander also praised Arne Duncan, Obama’s education secretary, as “excellent.”