Education Leaders Target the National Stage as NCLB Falters

July 17, 2008 07:01 AM
by Christopher Coats
As the presidential election heats up, education advocates set their sights on the federal level in anticipation of possible changes to the national education platform.

30-Second Summary

The push comes as President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) becomes a common political target, increasing the chances of it being replaced after the election.

The program is up for Congressional reauthorization this year.

Marking the first day of her presidency of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten called on elected officials and both presidential candidates to act to improve schools nationwide.

Weingarten proposed a broad new role for schools, with facilities more akin to community centers, providing an array of services to students as well as their families.

Elected at the union’s convention in Chicago, Weingarten took immediate aim at the national No Child Left Behind education plan—President George W. Bush’s signature domestic policy—labeling it “too badly broken to be fixed.”

Meanwhile, another New York education advocate, Joel Klein, has joined forces with Al Sharpton to try to spotlight the “achievement gap” between white and minority students.

Heading an advocacy organization called the Education Equality Project, Klein and Sharpton have met with Barack Obama and John McCain, asking both to pledge support to the effort.

Both campaigns come after the announcement of the One Giant Leap for Kids campaign was announced last month; a collaborative effort on the part of four of the country’s largest education advocacy groups to push technology to the fore of both candidates educational platforms.

Headline Links: Eyes on national goals

Background: NCLB in the crosshairs

Reactions: Something’s got to give

Opinion & Analysis: Misguided goals?


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