No Child Left Behind Waivers: Bogus Relief, Genuine Overreach
NCLB’s blunt attempt to drive accountability from Washington has resulted in many schools being labeled failing while doing little to improve results. However, waivers from selected provisions of the law create a bad precedent that provides neither long-term relief for states nor solves the underlying problem with NCLB: an accountability system directed toward bureaucrats, not parents. The Obama Administration does not need to abrogate proper legislative process in order to provide relief from NCLB. Proposals such as the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) would allow states to completely opt out of NCLB and direct dollars and decisions to the state’s most pressing priorities. State leaders should reject these waivers and demand genuine relief from NCLB. Options exist to provide that relief and create a path toward fundamentally reducing federal intervention in education.