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June 08, 2011
June 09, 2011
November 05, 2008
finally have a serious, thoughtful ESEA reauthorization proposal in the Senate,
one that should gain support from both sides of the aisle and both ends of
Pennsylvania Avenue. But here’s a warning: It’s not the bill that the Senate is
currently marking up.
No, that bill, authored by
education-committee chairman Tom Harkin and ranking member Mike Enzi, is a
hodgepodge of half-baked ideas that should alarm folks on the right and
sure enough, progressives have already made their opinions clear on why the bill
should be stopped dead in its tracks. But it should offend conservatives
(including the Reform Realists among us) too,
though for very different reasons. Such conservatives should back the
aforementioned proposal put forward by
Senators Alexander, Burr, and others, instead.
are the Harkin-Enzi bill’s major offenses:
Republicans, including ranking member Enzi and Senator Lamar Alexander, have
already signaled that they will vote to get the bill out of committee but can’t
support “sending it to the president” in its current form. Here’s hoping that
somewhere along the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (House of Representatives,
we’re looking at you!), these onerous provisions fall by the wayside.
Otherwise, Republicans would be wise to 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. And if Democrats won’t go for that—well, wait for a more favorable
environment in 2013.
|Click to listen to commentary on the Harkin-Enzi proposal from the Education Gadfly Show podcast|