U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may wish that Congress moved on "real people's time," rather than "Washington time," when it comes to reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. But not all wishes come true—not even for a cabinet secretary.
At a campaign stop Tuesday in Minnesota, Duncan once again implored Congress to act swiftly to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act.
"We desperately want to see this done before schools go back in the fall," he said during a discussion with local educators, according to this Associated Press story. "This can't be done on Washington time. It needs to happen on real people's time."
But Rep. John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who is the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is not persuaded. Last month, he declared there was "no chance" of meeting Duncan's back-to-school deadline. Yesterday, he said in a statement that rather than focusing on "timelines and rhetoric" in advance of an "arbitrary" deadline, his committee is focused on "thoughtful reform initiatives."
"Our education system is in critical need of improvement, but we have all seen what can result when Congress hastily crafts sweeping legislation to meet an arbitrary deadline," he said.
Given how the Obama education policy promotes charters, merit pay, school closures, teacher firings, national standardized tests and teacher evaluations tied to test scores, anything that delays Duncan getting NCLB reauthorized sounds good to me.
Since the presidential race for 2012 is starting to heat up and it will be difficult to get major legislation through the Congress, there is a good possibility that nothing substantial on ed policy gets done until 2013.
Again, that sounds good to me.
Maybe by that time, the damage created by the Obama policies promoted in Race to the Top will become apparent and some people in Washington will put a stop to the mess.