On Monday, the White House announced that it will start issuing waivers for states to avoid the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The White House is making states sign on to Obama education policies in order to receive a waiver, completely bypassing Congress and the normal legislative process.

As Joy Pullman noted in the Weekly Standard this past Tuesday:

The president has decided to take a tack on the largest federal education law…bypassing Congress and legislating through administrative agencies by offering states waivers in exchange for education policies he favors.

Russ Whitehurst, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, reported that never before has the United States seen “such a wholesale executive branch rewrite of federal law through use of the waiver authority”:

It is one thing for an administration to grant waivers to states.… It is quite another thing to grant state waivers conditional on compliance with a particular reform agenda that is dramatically different from existing law. The NCLB waiver authority does not grant the secretary of education the right to impose any conditions he considers appropriate on states seeking waivers.

Continue reading →