Walz Statement on Minnesota House's Bipartisan Decision to Opt-Out of No Child Left Behind
"Today, high school educator Rep. Tim Walz issued the following statement in response to the bipartisan vote by the Minnesota House to discontinue participation in President Bush's No Child Left Behind. Walz, a Member of Congress with experience teaching under No Child Left Behind mandates, has been working to drastically overhaul No Child Left Behind.
"I applaud both the Republican and Democratic members of the Minnesota House who stood up for parents, teachers, students and schools by voting for legislation to withdraw Minnesota from the punitive mandates of No Child Left Behind. Their actions yesterday sent a message to bureaucrats and Washington politicians: NCLB's irresponsible mandates need to be replaced with policy that properly funds education, meets our high expectations for public schools, ensures local control and provides for real accountability. I have been and will continue to be a voice for that message of change in Washington.
"Bureaucrats must resist the desire to micromanage our children's classrooms. After nearly two decades in public school classrooms, I know when parent-teacher conferences are held in our schools to discuss student achievement, parents, students and teachers show up, but not the federal government. No Child Left Behind is a policy directed at making the federal government's voice drown out all others in those conferences and that is simply unacceptable.
"I am working to do away with the punitive measures that only hurt the schools that need the help the most. It is Congress' job to put together a new policy that promotes real accountability and gives the power back to states like Minnesota who are national and international leaders in education. I believe that our schools need and deserve federal resources and in the waning days of the Bush Administration and No Child Left Behind, I am working closely with my colleagues to do what's right for Minnesota's parents and students."