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Lawmakers to revisit No Child Left Behind

Feb. 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- House Republicans and Democrats, demonstrating a flash of bipartisanship, say they plan to revisit the No Child Left Behind education law.

In a joint statement, Reps. George Miller, D-Calif.; John Kline, R-Minn., Dale E. Kildee, D-Mich.; and Michael Castle, R-Del., pledged "a bipartisan, open and transparent effort to rewrite No Child Left Behind -- a law that we all agree is in need of major reform," The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The effort will begin "with a series of hearings in the coming weeks to explore the challenges and opportunities ahead as we work to ensure an excellent education is available to every student in America," the joint statement said.

Members of President Barack Obama's administration and lawmakers began talks last month on overhauling the 2002 law that mandates expanded standardized testing and set up a national structure for school accountability. Obama's budget proposal includes language that would eliminate the "adequate yearly progress" standard for schools to close test score achievement gaps, a key part of NCLB.

Miller, House Education and Labor Committee chairman, said the administration's $4 billion Race to the Top competition for states started a national discussion about how to improve teaching and learning by using data on student performance better.

"This is the best opportunity we have had to have really substantial change in how we meet the educational needs of our kids," Miller told the Post. "Congress would love to go home and say, 'We fixed No Child Left Behind.'"

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