AP/Jim Mone
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announces changes to the No Child Left Behind
education law that will give states more flexibility in sanctioning school performance goals
during an appearance Tuesday, March 18, 2008, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP)

Education Secretary Wages Lonely Battle to Save ‘No Child Left Behind’

June 13, 2008 08:03 AM
by Rachel Balik
Margaret Spelling is campaigning all over the country to save President Bush’s education act, which may disappear when a new administration inhabits the White House.

30-Second Summary

Margaret Spellings is indefatigable in her support for both President George W. Bush and the No Child Left Behind Act; she has worked on the law, which she calls “my child, my baby,” since its inception. Spellings is running a nationwide campaign to make improvements and convince people of its merits. But Rep. George Miller, who initially sponsored the bill, now calls it “the most negative brand in the country.”

Spellings is concerned about what the next president will do for education reform. She believes No Child Left Behind is part of Bush’s legacy and should not be forgotten. But presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama criticizes the program’s methods and asserts, “what we should not do is to have teachers either rewarded or punished based solely on the performance on a standardized test.”

Republican candidate John McCain’s plans for the law are not entirely clear, but he notes the law has raised awareness of an educational crisis, and his campaign Web site lists part of a plan to reform the country’s educational system that would remove both children and financial support from failing schools.

Although some feel the law has improved the education system, it has been widely criticized by educators, parents, and lawmakers. Even many of those who see the program’s merits feel it has been poorly executed.

Headline Link: ‘Bush Loyalist Fights Foes of “No Child” Law’

Background Links: The Candidates’ Education Plans

Opinion and Analysis: Is ‘No Child Left Behind’ Working?

Reference Link: The No Child Left Behind Act

Key Player: Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings


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