When White House waived No Child Left Behind standards in order to give grants to states and localities with no strings attached, the Obama Administration’s Department of Education may have actually replaced the string with rope. “ After failing to get its education agenda through Congress on its own rushed timeline, the Obama Administration intends to grant conditions-based waivers to states from the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)” the Heritage Foundation  pointed out in a fact sheet it published on September 23, 2011. “NCLB requires all students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014 and includes sanctions for schools that fail to meet this benchmark.”
“With Strings Attached: In order to receive a waiver, states must adopt “college- and career-ready” standards, which is the same language and framework employed by the Common Core Initiative to establish national continuity of the standards taught in every public school district in the country. While the Administration has argued that the push for these national standards is voluntary, the waivers’ requirement for states to adopt national standards and tests is an unprecedented federal intervention into curriculum.”
Once in place, a national curricula is very hard to dislodge, as our Australian friends learned. “Making an academic case against the legality of the national curriculum is one thing,” Byron Hodkinson writes in the September 2011 issue of the IPA Review. “Actually litigating against it and succeeding in the High Court is markedly more difficult.”
“The first impediment relates to the eligibility of certain persons to challenge the expenditure.” Hodkinson is a tax consultant from Melbourne.
The IPA Review is published by the Institute of Public Affairs.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia .
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