The Los Angeles Times reports:
President Obama and Republican leaders are moving toward a possible compromise on education reform, spurred by widespread dissatisfaction with the George W. Bush administration's No Child Left Behind Act.
The 9-year-old act imposes controversial testing requirements to govern how much federal aid flows to a school district. Republicans object to the act's prominent federal role. Democrats say the testing overloads the school day and is an unfair way to judge teachers, one of the party's principal interest groups. Both sides are alarmed at reviews that showed 30% of schools making unsatisfactory progress last year, a figure that could jump to 80% this year under the act's criteria.Key Republicans say they are willing to talk. "The conversations that we've had so far — Republican and Democrat, House and Senate — have been very congenial and productive," said Sen. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, the senior Republican on the Senate committee that deals with education.
But discarding a controversial law is the easy part. Finding a solution that can stand up to the extremes on both left and right will be an early test of bipartisanship, and of Obama's well-advertised tack to the political center.