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Obama Begins Work on No Child Left Behind Overhaul

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on February 02, 2010 12:03 PM

The Obama Administration is at work on re-evaluating and overhauling the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, more often known as No Child Left Behind. With some bi-partisan support in Congress, the Administration is looking at changing several key provisions of the education law.

The Washington Post reports that two key concepts of the law up for review are the measurement of "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) and the deadline of 2014 for a closure in all achievement gaps, which has been called "utopian" by education experts. 

According to the Post, the new law aims to replace the AYP measurement with a broader picture of student and school progress which would take into consideration moving all subgroups of students toward "college and career readiness" (CCR), each school's progress toward closing subgroup achievement gaps, graduation rates (at the high school level) and other measures as appropriate.

On January 20th, the White House and Sec. of Education Arne Duncan held a meeting with congressional members of both parties to discuss a general plan for work on the law overhaul. Both sides of the aisle felt it was a good start. "It was a very good meeting," said Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.), one of the participants. "It couldn't have been more bipartisan."

As always, funds will be needed to support change in this area. Secretary Duncan told the Washington Post that the education budget would increase by 6 percent. That would be the most significant annual increase since 2003, not counting the large infusion of funds made last year through the economic stimulus program to help prevent lay-offs.

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