ESEA Reauthorization Blueprint: Another Federal Overreach

Lindsey Burke /

Over the weekend, the administration released its “blueprint” for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The blueprint provides the administration’s vision for reauthorizing ESEA, in its current iteration known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), due for reauthorization since 2007. The plan to tackle the reauthorization of NCLB marks the most significant undertaking in the realm of federal education policy since the law was originally crafted in 2001. For the education policy world, this is huge; for the Obama administration, this offers a prime opportunity to reshape the course of American education.

Despite the historic opportunity, the administration’s blueprint offers what will likely be more lip service to reform and flexibility than actual freedom from federal red tape, which most states desperately need to improve academic achievement during a time of fiscal duress. States like Florida have shown that the real promise of educational success lies at the state level. However, there are some major changes afoot if the law is reauthorized in accordance with the blueprint. Among other changes, the new federal plan would require the following: (more…)