The Obama administration received mixed reviews last week when it unveiled the blueprint for its upcoming rewrite of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. Lawmakers gave Education Secretary Arne Duncan a largely warm reception when he testified before Congress, and many stakeholders were pleased the process is moving forward. But both of the nation's largest teachers unions were disappointed. "What excited educators about President Obama's hopes and vision for education on the campaign trail has not made its way into this blueprint," Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, said in a statement. Notably, the proposal lacks specifics about college- and- career-ready standards, the linchpin of the new system.
Could Duncan's catchphrase "tight on goals, loose on means" translate into a loss of accountability under the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act? What does the blueprint get right? What does it get wrong?