WASHINGTON (AP) — The top two lawmakers on the Senate Education Committee said Friday they are putting off consideration of a new No Child Left Behind law until next year.
Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., have decided that there's not enough time this year to complete work on the legislation, which has not yet been formally introduced.
The five-year-old law, up for a scheduled rewrite, requires math and reading tests in grades three through eight, and once in high school. Schools that miss testing benchmarks face increasingly stiff sanctions. The law, originally passed in 2001, is among President Bush's top domestic policy priorities.
Kennedy, the panel's chairman, had previously said he wanted a bill before the Senate this year. He now is aiming, however, to bring a bill up for consideration early next year, said his spokeswoman, Melissa Wagoner.
"We have additional work to do on key issues, but are confident that we can put forth a responsible package for consideration early in the new year that will enjoy strong support of the Senate," Wagoner said.
However, it may be even more difficult to pass a rewritten No Child bill next year because it is a presidential election year. It is harder to get the bipartisan consensus needed to pass major legislation against the backdrop of an intense presidential campaign. . . .
There will be plenty to do starting Monday morning to make sure that Spellings, Kennedy, and Miller are stopped in '08. Happy New Year!
Peter Henry has some sobering reminders:
So, another year of continuing to test kids until they bleed and vomit, more schools failing AYP, more threats, more school takeovers, more of everything, except the kind of innovation and quality schooling that our kids need in the 21st century.
This kind of myopic, stalemated, byzantine bureaucracy is precisely why I will argue until I die against a national curriculum, national standards and a national exam. Once the power is in Washington, it never comes back, it never improves people's lives and it never even gets off the bathroom floor.
Never give away our local control in education. Ever.