How the Boehner Elevation Helps NCLB Opponents

The election of NCLB co-author John Boehner (R-OH) to majority leader earlier this week actually helps NCLB opponents more than anything else.

Politically, and practically, Boehner's departure from the education committee is in reality a big loss for NCLB supporters.

Here's how:


As leader, Boehner's scope of responsibilities will increase enormously, making NCLB a much smaller part of his world than it was in 2001.

While still strongly identified with NCLB, Boehnor will no longer be focused on getting major education bills out of committee. He'll be focused on running the House.

And so, while he won't allow NCLB to be gutted in any obvious ways, all he'll really need is a bill called the reauthorization of NCLB. The details of what it contains or how it's passed will be left to others.

As a practical matter, some if not all of his key education committee staff will move with him to the leader's office, replaced by others who likely will have less experience, knowledge, and attachment to NCLB.

As a historical matter, recall also that Boehnor wasn't a big education guy before he took over the House education committee from Goodling. So there's no particular reason to believe that he will be now he's gone.

Beyond that, other factors -- election politics and the composition of the next Congress, mostly -- will probably have more of an impact on NCLB than anything else.


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