Harkin-Enzi advances

The bipartisan Harkin-Enzi bill to rewrite No Child Left Behind (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) made it out of committee with all the Democrats and three Republicans on board.

Credit Arne Duncan’s waivers for motivating the senators to take action, writes Mike Petrilli on Flypaper. The Dems seem willing to vote for anything, he writes. The Republicans, notably Sen. Lamar Alexander, a former U.S. Education secretary, will have lots of clout.

“Civil rights groups and lefty reformers are getting rolled,” he concludes. Federally enforced accountability has lost political support. 

Petrilli thinks Harkin-Enzi is better than NCLB. Like Alexander Russo, I’m not so sure the states will hold schools accountable for educating all students. Duncan said the bill should include accountability, but didn’t fight for it — at least not in public — notes Russo. 

. . .  are they just hoping that this all falls apart on the Senate floor and in the House so that they can do the waiver thing?   

Meanwhile, President Obama’s plan to fund teachers’ (and public safety officers’) jobs died in the Senate when two Democrats and Independent Joe Lieberman sided with Republicans.

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