ObamaFlex isn’t very flexible

ObamaFlex — the reform-linked waivers for No Child Left Behind — claim to be tight on goals and loose on strategies, but the plan is heavy on tight and light on loose, writes Mike Petrilli on Flypaper.

States would have to adopt Common Core Standards or prove their own standards prepare graduates for college. But states want waivers now and it will take time to prove  standards are “college ready.”

If a state decides to back out of Common Core Standards — perhaps because the standards-linked tests are inadequate –will the feds withdraw the waiver? Cut off funding?

A state can propose its own approach to accountability, for example – as long as it includes “annual measurable objectives,” “priority schools,” “focus schools,” “reward schools,” and on and on and on. This is kind of like Henry Ford’s approach to car colors.

The teacher evaluation mandate sets out six rules for all school districts to follow.

If we’ve learned anything from No Child Left Behind, it’s that to mandate a good idea is to kill it.

There’s a better way to fix No Child Left Behind, argues Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, in the New York Times. Alexander, a former Education secretary, has introduced a set of bills in Congress.

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