U.S. Chamber Statement on Administration’s NCLB Waiver Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s President of the Forum for Policy Innovation Margaret Spellings issued the following statement today following the administration’s announcement that they will waive provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law:
“Today President Obama announced that his Administration will waive central provisions of the No Child Left Behind law providing flexibility to states in exchange for committing to high standards and a system of accountability that sets goals and measures progress toward those goals. While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce understands the desire to establish a bridge until Congress enacts a new law, now is not the time to turn our attention away from accelerating the pace of student achievement for all kids. Prior to NCLB, there was little focus on student achievement and scarce attention paid to closing achievement gaps.
“While the framework established by the Administration may provide states a way to accelerate progress, states have previously sought waivers to mask the underachievement in their schools and push off confronting needed changes. The proof will be in whether any states that receive waivers are held to the promises they make. Their track record to date is not promising. The U.S. Chamber and its members will work to further engage state policymakers as these proposals are developed to ensure that this is an opportunity for accelerating progress and not a retreat from meaningful school accountability for all students.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.