Almost ten years after No Child Left Behind was signed into law, President Obama said the landmark educational law is not working.
Proposed by the George W. Bush administration, NCLB supports standards-based education reform, which is based on the concept that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can better individual outcomes in education. The act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools.
But despite that effort, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that more than 80 percent of the nation's schools risk being labeled failures under the law by 2014. So, the president announced waivers for states if they offer their own plans that meet federal standards.
Mr. Obama said the goal is not to weaken the law, but to help states set higher standards.
Reports say as many as 45 states are expected to start receiving the waivers early next year.
Note to teachers: The first two minutes and six seconds of this video is an overview of the segment which aired, while the rest is a conversation with Fairfax County Superintendent Jack Dale and Education Trust President Kati Haycock.
"Our kids only get one shot at a decent education. They cannot afford to wait any longer. So, given that Congress cannot act, I am acting." - Mr Obama.
"We can't let another generation of young people fall behind because we didn't have the courage to recognize what doesn't work, admit it, and replace it with something that does." -Mr. Obama
1. What does the phrase 'educational reform' mean?
2. What is No Child Left Behind?
3. What was the original legislation proposed to do?
1. In your opinion, why are schools falling short of meeting their goals? Discuss.
2. If you were the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, how would you improve the U.S. education system?
3. What are some critiques of No Child Left Behind?