The U.S. Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on replacing the nation’s big education law, known since 2001 as No Child Left Behind.
And President Obama is expected to sign the new version, ending an era marked by bitter fights between the federal government, states and schools.
So as it dies, we thought an obituary was in order.
Yup, an obituary. Because the law’s critics and defenders all agree on one thing: No Child Left Behind took on a life of its own.
Actually, they agree on one other thing, too: “If No Child Left Behind was a person, he or she should have died a long time ago.” That’s how outgoing U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan puts it. “It’s about time to finish it off and to bury it. And to do something much better.”
NCLB was expected to expire of old age in 2007, but Congress couldn’t find a replacement. So the law hung on.
While most folks are now happy to see it go, NCLB wasn’t always this reviled.