- Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is set to take over the Senate's education committee, has set his sights on updating the No Child Left Behind Act, which has been up for renewal since 2007.
- Alexander intends to have President Barack Obama sign a bill by early 2015, but that's easier said than done, as the administration has been issuing waivers from the laws stringent progress requirements since 2012 on the condition that states adopt test-based teacher evaluation systems and college-and-career-ready standards like the Common Core.
- No Child Left Behind was created with the intent of improving educational outcomes for low-income, minority, special needs, and English learner students, but its yearly progress goals were seen by many as unrealistic and it also sparked concerns that teachers were merely teaching to the standardized tests it mandated.
To be fair, the No Child Left Behind Act was a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and a reworking of the law hasn't just been on Republicans' minds. The Obama administration created its waivers from the law as a "stopgap," as the Boston Herald reports, but those waivers have ultimately been to the administration's advantage, as they allow its own policies to be advanced as a condition of eligibility.
Still, the Obama administration could reach a compromise with Republicans (likely after plenty of back-and-forth), and both sides seem willing to hear each other out in what is sure to be a delicate negotiation process.