Policy Documents

Waive to the Top: The Dangers of Legislating Education Policy from the Executive Branch

Benjamin Riley –
March 5, 2012

President Obama has announced a way to help states get around No Child Left Behind’s requirements. His plan grants certain states waivers from No Child Left Behind accountability requirements if they agree to a series of preset conditions. Although many states are enthusiastic about obtaining this relief, the waiver plan poses several notable risks, which Benjamin Riley discusses in an Education Outlook for the American Enterprise Institute. Legally, it remains to be seen whether the executive branch has the authority to craft national education policy without congressional approval. Politically, support for waivers may wane as states begin to implement these policies, particularly with the Common Core standards. And logistically, creating two wholly different federal accountability regimes poses an incredible challenge for oversight.