Over at The Nation, I assess the Obama administration's new "waiver process:"
A more progressive rethinking of NCLB might have allowed students to transfer out of their home school districts to integrated, higher-performing suburban schools: We know from the experiences of Milwaukee, Seattle, and Hartford that when such programs are available, they are extremely popular among low-income families and lead to improved academic outcomes.
On curriculum, it would have been worthwhile to encourage states to scale-up programs that introduce teenagers–in an academecially rigorous way–to potential occupations, since we know one of the best ways to fight drop-outs is to demonstrate to kids that education is relevant to their futures.
But the Obama administration remains committed to a narrower slate of reforms focused on curriculum standardization and value-added evaluation of teachers.
I'll be discussing this with David Sirota on Colorado radio this afternoon around 4:05 EST.