Harkin-Enzi: Threat or menace?

No bill at all is better than the revised version of the Harkin-Enzi bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (aka No Child Left Behind), writes Kevin Carey on The Quick and the Ed. The draft version would have required states to “implement some kind of legitimate multiple-measure process for evaluating teacher effectiveness” and ensure that low-income and minority students aren’t “disproportionately taught by ineffective teachers, as identified by the evaluation system.”  That’s gone now, in response to demands by school boards, principals and teachers, notes Anne Hyslop.

The Harkin-Enzi bill to  is a “hodgepodge of half-baked ideas” that should be rejected by progressives and conservatives, writes Mike Petrilli on Flypaper. But he likes the revised version better than the original, calling the equitable distribution of teachers rule “a Fairyland provision.”

(Republicans should) scrap the bill and start over — with Senator Alexander’s proposal as the jumping-off point. It’s a much stronger bill, closer in many ways to the Administration’s own Blueprint, and much more serious about re-calibrating the federal role in education.

While Rick Hess also prefers Sen. Lamar Alexander’s ESEA bills, he sees Harkin-Enzi as a workable bipartisan proposal that limits burdensome federal regulations.  Here’s his opinion on the revisions.

Alexander has endorsed the revised version of Harkin-Enzi, notes Politics K-12.  The National Education Association likes it.  But Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to require teacher evaluation.

It’s not all bad, writes RiShawn Biddle on Dropout Nation. But it’s mostly bad. Harkin-Enzi, Alexander and Duncan’s waivers all give up on education reform, he argues.

There’s little enthusiasm for Harkin-Enzi in National Journal’s debate. It weakens accountability too much for the reformers and not enough for the No Child haters.

I predict stalemate.

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  1. Deirdre Mundy says:

    A relative who teaches in the inner city was telling me that she sees a LOT of the NCLB controversy as “shooting the bearer of bad news,” because many of the provisions have just let people see how bad things have been for the last several decades. Part of the problem right now is that we can’t TELL if its working–the high school aged kids who were gypped out of an education early on aren’t good test subjects…. we really need about 15 years to see if it changed anything…..