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  • Obama Administration Continues to Make Policy Through Waivers

    On Monday, the White House announced that it will start issuing waivers for states to avoid the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The White House is making states sign on to Obama education policies in order to receive a waiver, completely bypassing Congress and the normal legislative process.

    As Joy Pullman noted in the Weekly Standard this past Tuesday:

    The president has decided to take a tack on the largest federal education law…bypassing Congress and legislating through administrative agencies by offering states waivers in exchange for education policies he favors.

    Russ Whitehurst, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, reported that never before has the United States seen “such a wholesale executive branch rewrite of federal law through use of the waiver authority”:

    It is one thing for an administration to grant waivers to states.… It is quite another thing to grant state waivers conditional on compliance with a particular reform agenda that is dramatically different from existing law. The NCLB waiver authority does not grant the secretary of education the right to impose any conditions he considers appropriate on states seeking waivers.

    Secretary Arne Duncan defended his actions in the Huffington Post:

    To just sit here passively in Washington and do nothing, to me, would be the height of arrogance.

    Rather, it seems, the arrogance lies in assuming that the White House can skirt the legislative process and lure states into accepting the President’s proposals.

    Beyond this, President Obama and Secretary Duncan are undercutting states’ authority by requiring states to adopt national education standards in order to receive a waiver. Setting forth national standards is nothing less than a federal one-size-fits-all plan to dictate what children are taught in the classroom.

    Yet Secretary Duncan, in promotion of the waiver plan, admonished NCLB for pushing “districts into one-size-fits-all solutions that just don’t work.”

    Federal education reform must provide states greater flexibility and freedom from Washington’s heavy hand. NCLB inflicts 600-plus pages of federal programming on schools, hamstringing their ability to best meet students’ needs. The Obama Administration’s attempt to further centralize education policy only adds to the problem.

    Pullman writes:

    States will have to hire armies of administrators at enormous cost to make proposals they hope will please the president, then continue funding this bureaucracy to prove they are fulfilling their programmatic promises.

    As Brooking’s Whitehurst nicely summed up:

    If you’re a fan of greater presidential control of education (and domestic policy in general), it’s celebration time. If you like the separation of powers or thought that the reauthorization of NCLB might be an opportunity to put more control of schooling in the hands of parents at the expense of district, state, and federal bureaucracies, this is not your party.

    Posted in Education, Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to Obama Administration Continues to Make Policy Through Waivers

    1. cejkn says:

      This man is re-shaping this country into a socialist state and nobody is stopping him. Where is the Congress? Where is the speaker of the House? Where is anybody with some kind of power to stop him? If Obama wins re-election, it's over for this country.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Here's an offering! DROP the NLRB and all it's costs of make-work in exchange for the MOVE FORWARD!!!! dunken doesn't belong here! the president doesn't belong here!

      These government controlled government people have to be held accountable to every idiotic move they make. These people are indignant and sicken what's good. All in favor of their own beliefs they're subliminally infiltrating into society by abuse of their authority using more than pure ignorance!!

      Arne Dunken: "To just sit here passively in Washington and do nothing, to me, would be the height of arrogance." actually that would be the best thing you can do! don't just SIT THERE THOUGH, study the Constitution!!!!

      Mr. Dunken says "and do nothing." we don't need you to interfere with the problems your overreach has already inflicted. unless you can show us who does, AMERICA WANTS FEDS to do NOTHING WITH STATES RIGHTS! Respect to do your own job and stay out of our children's intellect!

    3. BridgetD says:

      When will the politicians …. both Republicans and Democrats top this man from undermining our laws and legislative branch? If this isn't abuse of power, I don' know what is.

      This is far more serious than a third rate burglery and the attempt to cover it up. God knows what this administration is covering up…..it doesn't appear to be afraid of flaunting the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. One might suggest that the only solace is that the President following this one will do the same thing…. erase every legislative act by this adminsitration and the Democrats. Imagine the banchee screams from the left.

    4. Jeff, Illinois says:

      There's more to this story . .

      There's good reason for the waivers in this case . . just do some research . .

      • Ricky, Georgia says:

        TELL THE STORY! Let's see it or show where to find it. Don't just say there's more to the story. You think Atlanta is the only system falsifying test scores because of financial incentives in the legislation. I don't think we have the whole story now! Get the Federal Gov't out of education & give control back to the states & people will migrate to the states doing it well(TEACHING). Pretty LAME comment Jeff. Kind of like all the waivers in the Healthcare Law that they had to pass so we could see what is in it. REALLY?

      • kateyleigh says:

        Waiver's without conditions

      • Belle says:

        Maybe others know how to find such information but I have not been able to do so. I was not born in this technological world and need a little help. Would you be willing to share some information on where to look. I would surely appreciate it and hope others would also.

        • Jeff, Illinois says:

          Find the same story as reported on the Huffington Post website

          • Bobbie says:

            Jeff, maybe you should go to other sources that stand on truth and don't mislead and deceive it's readers.

            Unless the policy is corrupt, there is no need for waivers! A plan like this, shoved down throats, certain people would trust it, would have careful consideration to have worked out any and all potential problems. Not so with obamacare. Repeal obamacare. It's unconstitutional!

            • Jeff, Illinois says:

              Sources that mislead and deceive . . like Heritage Foundation . . Cato institute . . . Faux News

            • Bobbie says:

              I'm sorry you're set in your brainwashed mind to forget what mislead and deceive mean. You can break through if you want to?

      • Steve S. says:

        You may think that there are good reasons for the waivers, but that's not the core issue,
        on which you are strangely silent. That is the end run around the law, again. There are really good reasons not to do so. Just do some research.

    5. @USAGeorge says:

      Just another example of Obamas arrogance. His thinking stinks,even the liberals have nose plugs from the odor.

    6. Randy says:

      I'm no fan of NCLB. As an AZ legislator, we nearly had the votes to opt out in 2004. But this administration is way out of line.

    7. Tom lowe says:

      Obama bypasses congress by using wavers to enact his policies. Other presidents have used wavers, but they have not included conditions in the waver . In this case the condition is that they incorporate Obama's education policies.

    8. Gabriel Austin says:

      Mr. Obama is a lawyer; he is not used to making laws: consider the lack of budgets. He takes the lawyer's way of using loopholes.

    9. tom d says:

      what exactly are the 'criteria' needed to receive this waiver
      anything not fundimentally logical
      like teacher review, notable progress (given circumstance), or funding criteria?

    10. Hank_In_MO says:

      We should be eliminating the Dept. of Education altogether instead of giving it more power. We don't want or need federal authorities involved in local matters, and education is a local matter.

      • joecool says:

        Right on. All education should be administered and funded locally. There is no other way to maintain the control necessary over the process for accountability. Ditto for all economic aid.

    11. joecool says:

      What would Hugo Chavez do?

      • Roger S. says:

        Pretty much the same thing, only more blatantly!
        Time for the States to invoke Nullification (The quid pro quo waiver is an unconstitutional law!)
        Time for the House to start impeachment proceedings. (Even if ultimately they go nowhere,
        they send a strong signal that it's time for BO to BACK OFF!)

    12. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Waivers, whether they be from NCLB or Obamacare, sound a lot like a back door to the line-item veto. Why aren't waivers a violation of the equal protection clause?

    13. Tim AZ says:

      This behavior on the part of the regime places the Department of Education firmly on the path to elimination of yet another govt. agency that has no further justification for its continued existence. It's time to eliminate all govt. agencies that defy the best interests of the American people and, make congress earn their pay by making decisions they have avoided for far too long through the appointment of govt. agencies that eventually succome to corruption.

    14. powertothestates says:

      The answer is not "give the education control back to the states".
      The states must take the control back, if you wait for the feds to give bavk control
      it will never happen. If all the states stick together they can get it done.
      The Feds have no authority to control education in the first place.

    15. RennyG says:

      You know what, this is like playing football, the only difference there is "NO DEFENSE!!!!"

    16. Dinah L says:

      There are 2 issues here. Our discussion started with the waivers. I completely agree with the comments that this administration has taken over at least 2 of the branches of our government. I'm holding my opinion on that judicial branch. I had no idea it was possible for a President to do many of the things this President has done as far as by-passing the Congress by passing out waivers, and legislating by himself–no Congress. Then there is the issue of who should be in charge of education. We got along without a DOE for many years. After it was installed, we spent a LOT of money, but education results did not improve. That should be a good hint that we could do without DOE without any loss. Local boards of education are in better position to know what local schools need. Even a state curriculum can be from too great a distance from the need.

    17. Celia Cruz says:

      I wish we would impeach President Obama! He is trying to destroy this great nation! It seems to me that most everyone is asleep or just don't care! Well, I care but don't know how to get rid of him! I wish I knew how !! Celia C.

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