Monday, January 24, 2005

Time weighs in

Time magazine believes that expanding NCLB to high schools will be a tough sell:

[Bush's] proposal is generating little enthusiasm on either side of the aisle.

Democrats like Representative George Miller of California, who helped write the bill and rallied others to vote for it, are withholding support this time, complaining that the Administration has not provided enough money for current testing. Bush also faces recalcitrance in his own party. Many conservatives feel the act involves excessive federal intrusion into local schools. Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, who leads a group of more than 90 House conservatives called the Republican Study Committee, has not only come out against the President's high school initiative but also called the act "one of the things we need to undo from the first Bush term." Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Senator and former Secretary of Education, said Congress first has to be sure No Child Left Behind is working in Grades 3 through 8 before he will back the new plan. Even Ohio Representative John Boehner, who has been the most vocal Republican supporter of the act, has refused to endorse Bush's proposal. Said a senior House Republican aide: "I think the White House is aware it has some selling to do."

Ultimately, Boehner will support the expansion. He hasn't endorsed it, but he hasn't said anything negative either. But as I pointed out a long time ago, Democrats and the far right wing of the party (e.g. Rep. Perce) will be much harder to convince. I've misunderestimated him before, but I don't see this getting done -- unless he can come up with lots more cash for education to persuade the Dems which would render the conservative Republicans' resistance meaningless.


Blogger EdWonk said...

It will be a very difficult sell indeed. I can just hear the lobbyists opening their briefcases as I type this. ;)

8:55 PM  

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