It was one of the first lightening rod issues of the Bush Administration and remains a source of huge controversy to this day, 9 years after it was first enacted: The No Child Left Behind law, designed to measure the success rates of schools while holding them accountable in the process, resulted in one in three American schools being labeled as failing. This week the Obama Administration begins its effort to remake NCLB in its image, retaining some of the Bush requirements for annual reading and math tests but instituting a different set of measurement standards. There are also more carrots included, rewarding top performing schools and minimizing government interference in the reasonably well-run schools in the middle. Just like the original NCLB, the Obama plan is also proving controversial—will it receive a passing grade in the eyes of the nation’s educators?
Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education in the Bush Administration and head of the Spellings and Company consulting firm
Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association
Congresswoman Susan Davis, Democrat – San Diego County. She is a member of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.