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ERIC Number: EJ774570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0574
The Politics of No Child Left Behind: Will the Coalition Hold?
Hess, Frederick M.; Petrilli, Michael J.
Journal of Education, v185 n3 p13-25 2004
On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) into law. Surrounded by smiling members of the Democratic and Republican leadership, the President declared, "as of this hour, America's schools will be on a new path of reform, and a new path of results". NCLB brought sweeping changes to the 37-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and thrust the nation's educators, schools, and school districts into a new world of federal educational leadership. This article talks about the "Washington consensus" and its commitment to educational improvement as well as the critics that goes along with it. This article presents three primary reasons to expect that the NCLB coalition will hold and that sweeping changes will be forestalled: (1) Though the education community has been scathing in its attacks on NCLB, and though many state legislatures have condemned the law, these arguments do not appear to have decisively turned public opinion; (2) Glimmerings of consensus on likely "refinements" are emerging, and these have tended toward the modest rather than the dramatic; and (3) To date, many believe that the "Washington consensus," positing that poverty is no excuse for poor student achievement and that only external accountability will push schools and districts to make tough changes needed to improve, remains largely intact.
Boston University School of Education. 621 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. Tel: 617-353-3230; Fax: 617-353-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001