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  • Obama’s "Backdoor Education Agenda"

    On August 8, the Obama Administration announced it would begin granting waivers to states to allow them to opt out of the requirements of No Child Left Behind. But there’s a catch: If a state desires to obtain a waiver, it must also agree to sign on to requirements the Obama Administration sets forth.

    In response, last Friday Chairman John Kline (R–MN) of the House Education and the Workforce Committee stated:

    …the Obama Administration seems determined to override Congressional efforts to reform the law and enact a backdoor education agenda. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan continues to push forward an ill-conceived plan to offer states and school districts waivers in exchange for reforms rooted not in the law but in the secretary’s own education agenda.

    While the White House has the authority to grant waivers, the President does not have the power to sidestep legislative powers and lure states to accept his education agenda. As Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution asserted:

    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.

    And exactly what states will be required to adopt in exchange for a waiver remains unclear. As the House Education Committee noted in its press release: “Despite…efforts to gain more details about what these conditional waivers may entail, the Secretary refuses to provide any information about the administration’s controversial proposal.”

    While Obama is pushing his education agenda on states, he is doing so under the guise of flexibility. Yet, temporary relief bound by the strings of greater federal regulation is anything but flexible.

    For nearly five decades, Washington has attempted to improve schools with top-down policies. Rather than helping students achieve, this has only extended federal overreach. Pulling states more tightly into the grip of central government will do nothing to loosen the red tape ensnaring the nation’s education system.

    States need education reform that offers true flexibility—allowing states to meet the needs of students rather than toe the line set by Washington.

    Promisingly, over the last few months, Representative Kline (R–MN) and Representative Duncan Hunter (R–CA) have introduced a series of reforms that aim to free states from the accumulating years of federal regulation and allow them to use their education dollars as they deem best instead of as the federal government demands.

    Reforms that move Washington out of the way give states the freedom to fulfill their responsibilities to students, families, and communities in providing children a quality education.  The nation needs a wave of real reform—not waivers that only pose as such.




    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama’s "Backdoor Education Agenda"

    1. Anthony Bruno says:

      Email sent to Rep. Kline,
      I am writing after reading of the president's "backdoor" education initiative.
      As chairman of your committee I hope you can reign in the self-appointed authority of the DOE, which has increased its intrusiveness in education that I believe are best handled at the state level.
      I further believe the DOE should only be a conduit for Fed funds to be returned back to the states w/o "strings" attached.

      The less involved the DOE is the better the states can meet the desires of its citizens.

      If, at some point the DOE would go away…the states can do the job w/o Fed intrusion as they did successfully long before the DOE came into existence.

      Poll your constituents to confirm this position.

      Much success,
      Anthony Bruno
      Cary, NC

    2. patrick stanley says:

      Obama is a captive of the teachers unions. These unions have been only about their own advantages for a generation. The unions in alliance with Liberals have deliberately "dumb down" the educational experience for all students. The No Child Left Behind was a muted effort to counteract this influence and the unions must have given it some support because it was basically written by Sen. Kennedy, a captive of such groups. The "dumbing down" has worked so well that now the teachers themselves are so dumb even modest standards are out of reach.

    3. Slick says:

      Well, surprise, SURPRISE!!!! Just another routine day in Washington with the progressives "hard at work" trying to undermine the very foundation of our country . . . . EDUCATION!!!!

      What EXACTLY will it take for the American people to wake up and smell the coffee???? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but money and exemptions is not the "end all, be all" for every problem individual States have!!! There is a price to be paid for taking special favors and much too soon to suit me, we will find out how high that cost will be!

      Buyer Beware . . . . "I am from the government, and I am here to help you!"

    4. Slick says:

      Well, surprise, SURPRISE!!!! Just another routine day in Washington with the progressives "hard at work" trying to undermine the very foundation of our country . . . . EDUCATION!!!!

    5. Joan says:

      just another Obama sneak attack–another reason to abolish the
      dept of education. Got to had it to Obama though, he sure has Chutzpah!And does he ever love waivers!

    6. Stella says:

      Duncan and this administration will stop at noting to get their agendas in place. Indoctrination is the agenda..taking parenting out of the home and into schools. Duncans primary role is to normalize alternative sexual lifestyles…not tolerance but acceptance. This administration is underming every family value and has no moral compass. It is anything goes, no personal responsibility, shut up and do as your told. As the nation slouches towards Gommorah, as Robert Bork predicted years ago, we can thank this administration for it's advancements.

      • Scott says:

        What are you talking about? "Duncans primary role is to normalize alternative sexual lifestyles…not tolerance but acceptance" – please cite a reference for this statement. You might think the U.S. Department of Education is off base but you can't honestly think this is the Secretary's primary role.

    7. Joan says:

      just another Obama sneak attack–another reason to abolish the dept of education. Obama sure does love those waivers. Gotta had it to him though.He has chutzpah.

    8. Neil Horowitz says:

      The proof is in the pudding. Talk about being dumbed down, look at what this country elected as president and vice president! We spend literally trillions of dollars on national defense yet we have placed a man in the White House whose loyalties and agendas many of us find questionable or downright treasonous.

    9. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Here's a waiver from NCLB…if you adopt our education agenda that wouldn't see the light of day in Congress.

      Here's a waiver from Obamacare…if you contribute to our re-election campaign (unions).

      Here's a "waiver" from rig safety regulations…if you contribute to our re-election campaign (BP).

      Here's a "waiver" from mortgage lending regulations…if you contribute to our re-election campaign (FM/FM).

      What happened to equal protection of the law?

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