Spellings Grades Obama Education PlanMarch 14, 2010 - 3:51 PM | by: Lauren Torlone
Former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on Sunday did not give high marks to President Obama’s proposal to overhaul the nation’s education standards.
“It’s a mixed bag,” Secretary Spellings told Brian Wilson on America’s News Headquarters, adding “There are some encouraging things that I think we can take away. A lot of it is built on things we did in the Bush administration giving educators credit for progress they make along the way. But there is also worrisome things, as I understand in the blueprint. They’ll take away the school choice and the opportunity that parents have for tutoring services, things like that…As I understand it, the Obama administration is going to lay out a plan that will actually give all of that latitude back to the states. And, you know, we tried it for 40 years and our kids suffered greatly.”
The plan – highlighted in the president’s weekly radio and internet address on Saturday – essentially rewrites the much-maligned No Child Left Behind education law implemented in 2002, of which Spellings was a key architect.
No Child Left Behind has come under considerable criticism by administrators, teachers and parents groups who say the law encourages educators to place a disproportionate focus on test scores. When asked if the act has been positive, Spellings said “absolutely”. In response to criticism the act holds back gifted students, Spellings said there’s no evidence advanced students are inhibited by the education law, and that a “rising tide lifts all boats.”
Craig Schulz contributed to this report.