Obama’s speech before students at a Virginia middle school heartened all those hoping for movement on ESEA. Alyson Klein of Education Week reported on Obama’s call to have ESEA finished in time for the next school year. He says this as NCLB guidelines promise to label the majority of the nation’s schools failing; in accordance with the 2014 AYP deadline for achievement. He’s seizing this political moment to highlight the shortcomings of the current law and emphasize the need for a comprehensive replacement.
The president also showed a commitment to protect education from slashes now threatening a host of social services and other federal government programs. He seal this commitment with a promise of vetoing anything to the contrary.
It’s good to see that the president is steadfast in his commitment to education. That commitment to ESEA, mixed an with interest from key lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and an Obama education proposal replete conservative hallmarks may make ESEA the best (and only) hope for major legislative passage this session. Yet, the president may be throwing all of his eggs into a hole ridden basket. He's going to the mat for an agenda that may rearrange deck chairs while never opening a debate that questions fundamental inequities in education. In the end he may get his legislation yet it may not be political energy well spent.