Stakeholders Express Frustration Over Lack of Change in ESEA

This week, national organizations representing school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and other stakeholders sent Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a letter asking for regulatory relief from the No Child Left Behind Act. While Congress and the Obama administration work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to fix NCLB’s flaws, the organizations asked the Secretary to consider using his regulatory authority to alleviate some of NCLB’s flaws.

In a letter, 16 organizations from the Learning First Alliance wrote:

“Absent swift reauthorization of ESEA, LFA member organizations urge the Department of Education to explore its authority for offering regulatory relief around NCLB. Once those areas are identified, we would recommend that the department then engage in collaborative discussions with our individual member organizations – as well as other interested stakeholders, including Congress – and focus on building consensus around proposals offering appropriate and immediate regulatory relief for the upcoming 2011-12 school year.”

Separately, two Learning First Alliance members, the American Association of School Administrators and the National School Boards Association, started gathering signatures for an online petition supporting “regulatory relief for the 2011-12 school year, and any efforts to rescind or modify current regulations and alleviate undue pressure on the nation’s schools.”

Secretary Duncan has been working closely with Congress to create a bipartisan bill to reauthorize ESEA. The President has called on Congress to pass an ESEA bill before the next school year begins. The Obama administration’s main goal is to change the accountability framework to fix the problems created by NCLB, which mislabels too many schools as low-performing and doesn’t reward successful schools.

The Secretary understands the frustrations of education stakeholders and shares their concerns about the slow pace of work in Congress. He remains committed to fixing NCLB so that its flaws are addressed as we move into the new school year.


  1. These people listen to nobody. I had my refund offset for a 20 year old student loan. O have an 8th grade education and.was not given an ability to benefit test. I am a mother of two with a disabled husband I make min wage. The federal government don’t even care if my children eat. I have begged for help from arne Duncan, the president, lamar Alexander, and the governor of tn. A loan for 2625.00 and I’ve paid over 6091.00 and they still want more

  2. I notice this post does not mention a response from the Secretary to the other request in the organizations’ letters: That the Department use its regulatory power to relieve students, teachers, and schools from what all have agreed are the harmful aspects of NCLB implementation. Does that silence suggest the administration wants to continue the pain as a political tool for leverage to get it’s Blueprint through Congress?

  3. There is a possibility to include Puerto Rico in the form, because we also affected by the law and AYP. NCLB also has had its effects in Puerto Rico.

  4. This post is intended to show that parents are also frustrated with the law. If you look at the letter that was sent to Secretary Duncan, you see little signs of parent involvement. The letter simply represents the perspectives of school administrators or the ones required to comply with the law. If Secretary Duncan claims that parents are frustrated with compliance policy, I suggest that Secretary Duncan talk with more parents.

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