by Lindsey Burke
The Heritage Foundation
November 14, 2013
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a continuation of nearly five decades of growing federal intervention in education. Signed into law in 2001 and intended to improve students’ academic performance, NCLB has chiefly resulted in burdening schools and states with costly and time-intensive bureaucratic compliance, while mandating unattainable universal proficiency requirements. NCLB suffers from bipartisan displeasure, and the Obama Administration has granted waivers to over 40 states, releasing them from the law’s most onerous provisions—on the condition that these states implement the Administration’s vision of education policy. This pact is a ruse: Any short-term relief that states gain comes at the price of ceding unprecedented authority over education decisions to the U.S. Department of Education. Instead of continuing to pay for dozens of ineffective and duplicative federal programs, states should be allowed to opt out of NCLB.

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