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MaryEllen McGuire in The National Journal | 'What's At Stake: Education'

October 4, 2008 |

After this Congress's failure to renew the six-year-old law, Obama and McCain will face the same grassroots pressure to act. No Child Left Behind requires states to set increasingly tough annual standards to ensure that all students are proficient in reading and math by 2014. With the deadline closing in and standards getting higher, more schools are failing and consequently more teachers, parents, school administrators, and state officials are pressing for an overhaul.

"Congress as a whole is committed to [reauthorizing] NCLB. This is on people's mind," said MaryEllen McGuire, director of the nonpartisan New America Foundation's Education Policy Program. "I think Obama will be more proactive, but ultimately it will get done regardless of who is president."

"The tricky piece for Obama will be teachers unions," McGuire added. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are spending millions of dollars to elect Obama, and they will push him to ease the law's testing requirements and harsh sanctions, and not to use students' test scores to award merit pay to teachers. LINK

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