I would like to make a few clarifying comments relative to your editorial of June 12. The editorial was highly critical of the tutorial component of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). On a positive note, the editorial further indicated that a waiver system now in place has allowed Ohio school systems to implement the program under local control. I am in thorough agreement with the editorial on these points.
As a retired director of federal programs for Wood County Schools I found this program, referred to in the law as Supplemental Education Services (SES), to be difficult and frustrating to implement. However, the editorial does not mention that NCLB was passed by Congress in 2001 and signed into law with great fanfare by President George W. Bush in January 2002 as his signature piece of legislation. I might add that although the bill was bipartisan, the various guidance documents for the implementation of the major components of the bill, including the guidance for SES, were written by members of the Bush administration.
School systems throughout the United States have been clamoring for relief from the requirements of NCLB almost from its beginning in 2002. One of the unrealistic requirements of NCLB is that school systems receiving federal money must have 100 percent of its students meet state standards, as measured by the state achievement test, by 2014 - a level of perfection not expected in any other profession.
The current waiver system was designed by President Obama's administration under the leadership of Arne Duncan, our current Secretary of Education, as a response to this outcry, and as such, several states have thus far applied for a waiver. It should also be noted that Margaret Spellings, who served as Secretary of Education during the Bush administration, was highly critical of Secretary Duncan's waiver approach when it was first announced.
Without the above background information, the reader might erroneously associate NCLB and all of its excesses with the Obama administration when in fact NCLB was signed proudly into law by President George W. Bush in 2002.