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  • NYT Notes Obama's Election-Year "Maneuvering Around Congress"

    The Obama Administration’s overreach into education has become so pronounced that even The New York Times can’t ignore it.

    The Administration, mistaking bipartisan discontent with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for a mandate to rewrite the law from the White House, is issuing waivers to states that agree to their policy demands. The Times reports today:

    Congress has tried and failed repeatedly to reauthorize the education law over the past five years because Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on an appropriate role for the federal government in education. And so, in the heat of an election year, the Obama administration has maneuvered around Congress, using the waivers to advance its own education agenda.

    Indeed, President Obama has circumvented Congress in the midst of deliberations over the future of NCLB. President Obama alleges that this circumvention is necessary to provide relief to states that fear drowning in a cascade of sanctions that are forthcoming in 2014 if they fail to ensure universal student proficiency in reading and math.

    But Obama doesn’t need to abrogate the rule of law in order to provide that relief. The Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act would provide relief through the appropriate legislative process. A-PLUS allows states to completely opt out of NCLB without the types of strings and conditions the Administration’s waivers contain.

    The waivers, by contrast, further concentrate power in the hands of an already bloated federal Department of Education (DOE), removing parents, teachers, and taxpayers from the educational decision-making process. The conditions that have been attached to the waivers represent a dramatic federal overreach into school policy, the most concerning of which are requiring states to adopt national standards and tests.

    While the Secretary of Education has the authority under NCLB to waive the law’s requirements upon request from a state, he does not have the authority to stipulate conditions for waiver access and certainly doesn’t have the authority to nationalize curriculum in the process.

    In its latest effort to push policy without congressional review, the Administration announced today that two more states—Washington and Wisconsin—will be awarded NCLB waivers, bringing the total state waiver count to 26. While 10 other states wait in the wings, states like Texas and California have refused to hand over so much control to Washington.

    Meanwhile, as if the centralizing trends of the Administration’s policy weren’t clear enough, Iowa’s waiver request has been rejected because the state maintained too much local control.

    States should reject these waivers, because any relief they might feel as a result will be temporary and will be dwarfed in the long term by the limitless policy demands the DOE will be able to make on local schools.

    The Times is right that the waivers “appear to follow an increasingly deliberate pattern by the administration to circumvent lawmakers.” States that haven’t received waivers yet—or haven’t taken the bait—should demand genuine relief from NCLB through congressionally approved options that fundamentally reduce federal intervention in education.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to NYT Notes Obama's Election-Year "Maneuvering Around Congress"

    1. Bobbie says:

      Unless the NYT are immigrants to America, (no offense, just giving a rational excuse) they should know as Americans know there is no appropriate role for the federal government! NONE that history doesn't show to be sinister! The feds and their union controls have already cost time, trouble and limitless amounts of money with nothing beneficial to show for it. Only collective mindset! It's the government control that destroys the minds' individual potential as we witness and deal with the narrow thinking in today's society. Hold the President accountable to his oath and point him in the direction to mind his and all his own with integrity.

    2. Chasssooo says:

      Good job reporting the news. I wish the Times would be more aggressive in reporting all the socialist policies Obama is doing under Executive Orders.

    3. Cyndi says:

      Why is Congress allowing this administration to continue to circumvent lawmakers with his executive orders, that are only to be used when emergencies arise while Congress is out of session (which is my understanding of E.O.'s)? Or hand out waivers? Or fill positions that need Congressional approval of the presidents recommended appointment? What's to say this man doesn't pass one of his own orders that keep him president or stop the November elections because he feels it is needed or cause Congress isn't doing the job he thinks they should be doing or not getting his laws through fast enough for his liking? Where does this all end? When we have a dictator in chief and the citizens or congress no longer have any leadership left because he has taken all powers away and given solely to the executive branch? This Congress is the weakest bunch of people that have no spines to stand for what is right and the health of this country. Where is their dignity and pride for The America that they have sworn to protect and oversee and the safety from terrorist foreign and domestic? They are all cowards for not standing up to obama and his administration.

    4. Charles says:

      When OUR GOV'T doesn't give in to the desires of this leader… then the DICTATOR abandons any semblance of our gov't and finds a way to do things on his own. This leader does not believe in the US Constitution, nor does he believe in Freedom for the American citizen.

    5. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      I'm not a lawyer but I think this is unconstitutional.

    6. undunder says:

      Obama really doesn't like the normal process for lawmaking. He much prefers the "I am King" approach to things. What a swollen airhead? Someone needs to remind him, that as much as he would prefer to be king, he is not and that he really should work with Congress; not cut them out of the loop until they are totally irrelevant. And they are dangerously close to being unnecessary. They don't do what he the king wants, he just writes another executive order or tell his cabinet to do X or Y anyway. And he keeps smiling all the way to the socialist cliff.

    7. Jeanne Stotler says:

      One word; IMPEACHMENT

    8. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      In a smaller sense, this situation clearly makes the case for the repeal of NCLB. If a majority of states have waivers and more are waiting, what good is the law? Why not issue one big permanent waiver with a repeal?

      In a bigger sense, this situation clearly makes the case for a repeal of the 17th amendment and a return to the original method of choosing Senators…indirectly through the state legislators not directly through the people. Would the federal government be as apt to make laws subjecting states to a rock and a hard place if the state legislators controlled one of the chambers? Medicaid is another reason.

    9. RennyG says:

      Right on the Alinsky theory. "CHAOS!!!" He has instructed the Senate, Reed, to do nothing with the house. This gives him the opportunity to blame congress. This guy is right on, he knows what he is doing!!! I say he will be in office for at least two more years if not re-elected for four! He will use his "judicial" powers to accomplish keeping him in office. Like, maybe a war with Iran, that would do it!!!!!
      Praying could be the only way we can stop him!!!!!

    10. RennyG says:

      My previous comment too honest and bold for printing????

    11. Rand says:

      I have marveled over the years how little parents squawk about our rotten Govt. schools. Because both parents prefer to be working, they never complain about the schools… their deluxe babysitter where their children can get up to 3 meals per day. Education gets more Soviet as time goes by. And POP goes the future of the American genius in science and engineering.

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