Miller Previews "Retro" NCLB Priorities, Uncertain Timeline

At a press conference earlier today, it became clear just how much incoming education committee Chairman George Miller has on his plate -- and perhaps how those other things might affect the education agenda and timetable.

Some of the pressing issues mentioned by Miller or reporters included not just the minimum wage and college affordability stuff we already know about but also mine safety, collective bargaining (aka 'card check'), pensions, and paid sick leave. There are also scads of funding issues that Miller has no real control over, including annual funding levels for NCLB.

Miller noted that there had been some NCLB oversight hearings and that he and Senator Kennedy want to get something done this year, but reminded everyone that he's got a lot of new members on his committee (each of whom will have their own petty concerns and "when I was a kid" preconceptions) and talked a lot about "e-hearings" (which sound like a longer, even more boring form of field hearing that you can listen in on from your desk). No mention of Reading First oversight, though he hired an investigator last week (Miller Ramps Up For Oversight & Investigations).

As to specific changes, Miller is still focused on AYP and funding changes, which are in some ways -- a school rating system and a symbolic issue -- the least substantive parts of the law (and also very 2003). He talked a little about an expanded growth modeland -- my favorite line -- said "it has to be growth to somewhere." He also mentioned -- barely -- teacher equity (under the umbrella term of "deployment") which is surely going to get him some calls from CCCR and the EdTrust.


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