President Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech highlighting his administration’s priorities for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Monday morning at the Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia.
According to a fact sheet the White House provided to reporters during a Sunday conference call, Obama will call for: an accountability system that shares responsibility for improvement and rewards excellence based on high standards and informed by assessments that measure individual student growth; a flexible system that empowers principals and teachers, and supports reform and innovation at the state and local level; and a focus on low-performing schools that ensures the most effective teachers serve students most in need.
Education Secretary said that the No Child Left Behind is too punitive and that the law’s only reward for success is to not be labeled a failure. In addition, he said, it has caused states to dumb down standards and narrow their curriculums to focus mostly on math and reading. While those two subject areas are fundamental, he added, it is important to provide more well-rounded curriculums that also focus on such skill areas as science and the arts. He also condemned NCLB’s “one size fits all” prescription for reform that focuses on one test that takes place on one day once per year. According to the White House, 37% of the nation’s schools are not meeting their annual NCLB targets and the Education Department estimates that number could more than double, to over 80% of schools in 2011.(0) Comments
At a Congressional hearing yesterday to discuss federal workforce pay, House Republicans launched an legislative assault on salaries for federal employees, complaining that federal workers are overpaid compared with the private sector.
On the wall directly behind Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, majority Republicans had erected a large poster saying: “Employment Changes December 2008-December 2010; Private Sector Jobs -8,817,000; federal government jobs +157,000.” A sign next to it said: “2010 Average Total Compensation; Government Worker $101,628; Private Worker $60,000.”
“Compensation of private-sector employees has not kept pace with that of federal employees,” said Rep. Dennis Ross, chair of the House Oversight subcommittee that is conducting the hearing. “Our taxpayers can no longer be asked to foot the bill for these federal employees while watching their salaries remain flat and their benefits erode.” Ironically, federal workers are already facing a two-year freeze on cost-of-living increases through the end of 2012. …(0) Comments