Obama's Next Target: Education Reform

'No Child' despised by both sides, but scope of reform disputed
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2011 8:59 AM CST
Obama's Next Target: Education Reform
President Obama, accompanied by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, gives his support to out-of-work teachers while speaking in the Rose Garden, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Seemingly leaving no sweeping overhaul behind, even under the changed dynamics of the 112th Congress, the Obama administration is readying its next legislative push: education reform. An overhaul of No Child Left Behind has broad support on both sides of the aisle, reports the AP, but divisions begin to show when delving into the scope, timing, and cost of reform. Democrats, predictably, want a total rewrite, while Republicans favor a "piecemeal approach." The president will underscore his commitment to education reform in his State of the Union address.

"There's room to make cuts, and I think pretty substantial cuts, that would enable us to use some of those savings on things we think work," says a California conservative. The White House's framework would ease testing requirements, focuses on teacher performance, and focuses on more overarching goals such as college graduation rates. Still, there's no guarantee that Republicans will take up the challenge: The AP notes that education reform didn't even make it into the "Pledge to America," and John Boehner's spokesman professes a focus on "creating jobs and cutting spending." (More education reform stories.)

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