What Happens To NCLB Under Democratic Control,
& When Comes Reauthorization?

Just about the time the NCLB Commission report comes out this winter, we'll be finding out whoruns the education committees. In this week's EdWeek, Alyson Klein reminds everyone that even if the Dems win control, neither Kennedy nor Miller would overturn or gut NCLB but it could undergo more changes than if there's no shift in control (Political Shift Could Temper NCLB Resolve).

For Kennedy and Miller, holding the line will be even harder if the Dems are in control than it has been from the minority side, and Klein sketches out some of the ways in which rambunctious and/or unpredictable folks like Chris Dodd and Lynn Woolsley or new members might push to soften NCLB or change the direction.

Bottom line: there is more likelihood of substantial changes to NCLB under Democratic control of Congress than there is if the Republicans remain in place. But we don't know if there's going to be a change, and the Reading First thing and higher ed reauthorization could both get in the way.

My completely ridiculous prediction: NCLB doesn't get reauthorized in 07 OR 08, but instead is left for a new administration. Hey, it's happened before -- and not too long ago: the 1994 IASA amendments didn't get revamped for seven years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - seems highly unlikely that ESEA reauthorization/NCLB 2.0 gets done anytime soon. Think the political gain from stalling the reauthorization and attacking specific provisions or a perceived lack of funding are too great; think that interest/advocacy groups have profound disagreements about contentious parts of the bill (teacher quality; sanctions for not meeting AYP; scientifically-based research) and that there will continue to be pushes for choice, charters, national standards and tests - that all give reasonable people heartburn.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the other hand, say Democrats win control of one house. That effectively makes most White House legislation DOA. But Bush will be desperately looking for some second-term legislative accomplishments, and Democrats will want to inoculate themselves against the "obstructionist" charge in 2008. Seems like NCLB is one of the few areas where the two parties could find some common ground, and they'd both have an incentive to run with it.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presumes two things: (1) that Bush and Congressional republicans will be more interested in sharing 'accomplishments' or distancing themselves from each other, particularly as attacks on administration handling of the implementation of NCLB escalate (see - Reading First - and to say nothing of the war on terror) and the coalition of republicans at the federal level can keep those at the state and local levels 'in line' (think Jeb vs. George W - oh, and, recall Utah, etc.) in light of state/local electoral politics (not sure a lot of state/local leaders think NCLB is 99.9% pure and sweet smelling, if they even understand the law); and (2) that the democrats somehow lose out by being obstructionist. I think increasing numbers of folks across the US are simply fed up with DC politics and scandals and pork, so I fail to see how democrats will energize their base - which includes large numbers of people who vote and are not wholly supportive of the law and/or its implementation and/or its funding (like the teachers' unions) - through compromise with a wounded republican party on a new version of ESEA. Don't get me wrong. After all is said and done, I don't see a radically changed law when it reauthorizes and I think that is a good thing. I just don't see this happening until after the 2008 presidential election...

10:35 AM  

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