President's thumb on NCLB beyond unconstitutional

Thursday, May 16, 2013
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Congress has delayed the reauthorization of "No Child Left Behind" for six years. Though it appears like representatives may approach the task this year, many doubt anything can happen.

John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has been critical of the Obama administration's granting of waivers, allowing states to duck the requirements of NCLB. As Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, puts it, those waivers are hampering reauthorization.

McCluskey, Neal (Cato Institute)"I don't get the sense that there's any urgency to get No Child Left Behind reauthorized, because the president's waivers release the main pressure that was on states to get this done, on Congress to get it done, which was the looming 2014 deadline to have all kids to proficiency," McCluskey offers.

He thinks legislators should be outraged by the president's unauthorized granting of waivers to some 30 states.

"The president essentially unilaterally reauthorized his own terms by saying Well, okay -- we'll let you have No Child Left Behind if you do what we want," the Cato spokesman states. "This is a blatant violation of the separation of powers. Already federal involvement was unconstitutional, but this goes even beyond that."

Instead of pushing for NCLB reauthorization, the administration has been pressuring states to adopt the Common Core Standards, threatening to withhold "Race to the Top" funding if they do not do the latter.

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