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NCLB's Prospects Dim for '08, McKeon Says

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Regular readers may have noticed that I haven't reported anything about the House's progress on an NCLB bill. That's because there's not much to report, according to Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., the senior Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee.

Rep. McKeon, at right, hasn't had a substantive conversation about NCLB with Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the committee's chairman, since October.

"We're in a climate where it doesn't look very favorable to get the reauthorization done," McKeon told the Education Industry Association at a breakfast this morning in Washington.

The prospects don't look much better in the Senate, he added. With the top Democratic presidential candidates on the Senate's education committee, it's unlikely Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the committee's chairman, will be able to generate consensus around a bill. Because both Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., have been critical of the bill and are still fighting over the nomination, neither would endorse anything less than a total overhaul.

"I don't see how Sen. Kennedy introduces a bill with that situation over there," McKeon told the EIA members, who mostly represent companies that provide tutoring under NCLB.

Even so, Democratic and Republican aides on the Senate committee are working long hours to write a bill that could be marked up in March. Stay tuned.

P.S. EdWeek blogger Marc Dean Millot is blogging about the EIA meeting over at edbizzbuzz. His first entry explains why tutoring companies need to expand their lobbying efforts to address the future of accountability.


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