Murkowski Criticizes ‘No Child Left Behind’ Waiver Offer

Secretary of Education “Is Not the Superintendent of Alaska”

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Murkowski today challenged the Department of Education’s waiver process for states to opt out of some provisions of the “No Child Left Behind Act” – reminding the administration they do not have the authority to do so, unilaterally. “I’m disappointed that President Obama’s solution to his predecessor’s top-down, one-size-fits-all policy is his own top-down, one-size fits all policy.”

At a White House press conference today, President Obama offered states the chance to apply for a waiver from “No Child Left Behind” requirements for 100% proficiency by 2014.  Those waivers will be granted if the states impose new policies – long advocated by the Obama administration – for “college and career ready” standards, limiting school accountability for taxpayer dollars to only the lowest-performing, new teacher evaluation systems, and making sure state regulations match his Administration’s expectations.

Murkowski said.  “I share the frustrations of Alaskans and Americans who see the flaws in ‘No Child Left Behind’ and the shortcomings of the Adequate Yearly Progress approach, especially given Alaska’s unique challenges” added Murkowski.  “But you cannot bypass Congress when you are changing education policy.  This waiver deal will exchange a set of one-size-fits-all rules with rules Secretary Duncan likes.  In case he has forgotten, he is the Secretary of Education, not the Superintendent of Alaska.”