WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is poised to broaden federal influence in local schools by scrapping key elements of No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration's signature education law, and substituting his brand of school reform.
While unpopular with Republicans in Congress and some in the educational establishment, the move is drawing applause from governors around the country struggling to meet the demands of the 9-year-old law.
Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are scheduled Friday to detail plans to waive some of the law's toughest requirements, including the goal that every student be proficient in math and reading by 2014.
In exchange for relief, the administration will require a quid pro quo: States must adopt changes that could include the expansion of charter schools, linking teacher evaluation to student performance and upgrading academic standards. As many as 45 states are expected to seek waivers.
For many students, the most tangible impact could be what won't happen. They won't see half their teachers fired, their principal removed or school shut down because some students failed to test at grade level — all potential consequences under the current law.