NCLB

January 8, 2007, is No Child Left Behind's fifth birthday. This isn't just another milestone to be celebrated (or mourned). It also marks the time that the law is due for an update from Congress. But will NCLB be reauthorized on schedule? And what changes are likely? No one knows for sure, but some might be in a better position than others to cast prognostications: the ubiquitous 'Washington insiders.' So we asked for their predictions. While not a 'representative sample' of thousands, these experts do have inside knowledge and bring a variety of perspectives. They span the ideological and political spectrum and work as lobbyists, association leaders, think tank analysts, and scholars.

Education policy leaders from across the political spectrum flesh out and evaluate several forms that national standards and testing could take.

Just one month after President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law, a provocative set of expert papers commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation explores the legislation's key features: its testing and accountability provisions. The papers identify the questions left unresolved by Congress and the many hurdles facing the U.S. Education Department and states, districts, and schools as they try to make this ambitious law a reality. The papers also offer suggestions for clearing those hurdles.

President Bush campaigned on a strong education-reform platform, promising the American people that for the first time in a long time, commonsense?not special interest groups?would dictate federal education policy. Just before he entered the Oval Office, we handed him a briefing book on steps he could take to help transform the K-12 education system. In this "Memorandum to the President-Elect and the 107th Congress," we explained how the federal government has wasted billions of dollars on ineffective programs and offered suggestions for making continued federal funding matter.

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