Shaky coalition pushes for No Child Left Behind replacement

Congress is on the verge of scrapping No Child Left Behind 14 years after it passed and eight years after its authorization expired.

If a fragile bipartisan compromise can be held together before lawmakers and various stakeholders can pull it apart, President George W. Bush's biggest education reform will be replaced.

The main thing holding the compromise together is that almost everyone hates No Child Left Behind. But conservative groups say the replacement doesn't cut the federal government's role enough, while others such as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says it goes too far.

The initial response from both sides has been muted, suggesting they're not going to lobby lawmakers hard against it. Other stakeholders have expressed tentative approval. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he was "encouraged." Teachers unions are giving it a qualified thumbs up as well.

No Child Left Behind was the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a Civil Rights-era bill that first authorized federal funds for local projects. President George W. Bush's version was notable for the strings attached. (AP Photo)

"We are pleased with what's in there," Mary Kusler, director of government relations for the National Education Association, told the Washington Examiner. "I cannot see us opposing this."

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