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Boehner Weighs in on House Draft

I—and just about everyone else—missed this Sept. 10 letter from House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, to the leaders of the House education committee.

In his "Dear George and Buck" letter, Rep. Boehner praises the bipartisan process that produced the House's NCLB discussion draft. Then he criticizes many key sections of it.

In summary, Rep. Boehner says the draft would fail to give students the option of choosing private schools, would cut back tutoring and other supplemental services, wouldn't support enough pay-for-performance and merit-pay plans for teachers, and would create new loopholes in the accountability system. He also cautions that he and other Republicans would oppose any policies that might lead to national tests or standards.

He never comes out and says he'll oppose the bill, but he does offer a long list of changes he'd like to see. Most of them are bills that Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., has introduced.

Rep. Boehner was chairman of the House education committee when Congress passed NCLB in 2001 and played a significant role in shaping the law then. This letter reminds us that he'll probably have some say in what the next NCLB looks like, too.

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