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Miller's Big Plans for NCLB May Have to Wait


At the Center for American Progress today, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., suggested that he has an expansive vision for the next version of NCLB.

At an event discussing a new report from New Leaders for New Schools, Miller, at right, talked about how the federal government could assist principals. His goal would be to help them create plans for improvement that address the needs of their communities, based on the abilities of their staffs and parents and using resources in creative ways to accomplish the learning goals.

"This is all doable," the chairman of the House Education Committee told an audience at the think tank's Washington office. "The question is: Will we be able to do it?"

My question when I caught up with him in the hallway was: Will Congress be able to enact an NCLB this year?

Probably not, he said, echoing similar comments two weeks ago by Rep. Howard P. McKeon of California, his Republican counterpart on the committee.

"I just don't see the Congress passing that legislation if the president is not willing to support a budget with the resources everyone knows are necessary," Miller said in the interview.

Miller is still talking to leaders in the Senate education committee because "they want to take a shot at it," he added. But he didn't sound optimistic about getting a bill finished this year.

"This is not the kind of environment that people are going to go out and support what has become the most negative brand in America," he told me, repeating a phrase he's used before.

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