The reauthorization of NCLB/ESEA is no closer to becoming a reality than it was months ago, or for that matter years ago. It’s a topic that seems simple: write a solid law that helps the nation’s children. But, like so many other important issues, education has become the victim of politics. We’ve been told repeatedly, even as recently as last July, that reauthorization was imminent. During EDVentures, EIA’s premier summer conference, our world was all atwitter (literally and figuratively) with the hope of ESEA reauthorization. It never happened.
When are we likely to see a new ESEA? It depends who you ask. Washington insiders and others who make their living by predicting (and controlling) the actions of the federal government would have us believe that any day now the two sides will gather around a campfire, sing Kumbaya, and hammer out a bill that the president will sign. Then there are those of us who don’t live inside the beltway; we easily see through the smoke and mirrors. We know that history will repeat itself, and in a never-ending cycle of presidential elections, education is a hot button no one truly wants to press.
Why can’t the two sides find a compromise that works? No one in congress wants to commit political suicide. To agree – or even to compromise – with the other side could very well end a congressperson’s career. Party loyalty trumps personal conviction every time.
In the meantime, EIA members should continue to press on. Continue to do your research and development of edtech software, publish books, contract with school districts, and offer consumer paid tutoring and test prep of outstanding quality. If you’re still working in one of the rare states that offer SES, it’s your duty to provide only the very best in tutoring. However, learn from the past and begin to develop as many new revenue streams as possible because eventually a federal waiver is headed your way.
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