Putting Education Reform To The Test

Jeb Bush Offers a Solution in No Child Left Behind Dispute: Look at Florida

Joe Raedle / Getty News Images

President Barack Obama (left), U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan (middle) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (right) at a Miami rally in March.

Congress needs to reauthorize federal No Child Left Behind education standards, but President Barack Obama is growing tired of waiting.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said a month ago that the agency planned to issue waivers to exempt some states from NCLB requirements as many states claim a high percentage of their schools will fail to meet its goals.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also weighing in — we told you about his Politico op-ed last week — arguing that districts that adopt reforms and show improvement should earn a federal waiver. Bush suggests a list of reforms very similar to those he pushed while governor and now known as the “Florida model:” A letter grade rating system; measuring teacher performance; and expanding school choice and online options.

Bush founded a number of education foundations, one of which, the Tallahassee-based Foundation for Excellence in Education, guides other states about adopting Florida style reforms.

It sounds like the department is getting close to saying from what school will be exempted, according to Education Week‘s Politics K-12 blog. Some members of Congress have argued the administration is overstepping its authority by exempting state from portions of the law.

The department has scheduled a conference call to discuss NCLB this afternoon.


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