- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and members of a new “children’s union” called Tuesday for the swift reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

“I hope Republicans in Congress work with the Obama administration to make this [NCLB] the one place to prove to the American people that Democrats and Republicans can put aside partisanship … [and] find common ground for a longtime strategy to ensure that more children learn,” Mr. Bush told the Excellence in Action education-reform summit.

Rep. John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican and incoming House speaker, was a sponsor of the bill, and President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan “deserve credit” for taking on “core constituencies” in education such as teachers unions, Mr. Bush said.

With so many new governors, there should be “unbridled energy” for educational reform, and there is even a new group, Chiefs for Change, that is determined to see child-centered reforms enacted.

“In many ways, we have started our own union. It’s a children’s union” dedicated to their best interests, said Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction and Chiefs for Change leader, along with state education officials Deborah Gist of Rhode Island, Gerard Robinson of Virginia, Eric Smith of Florida and Paul Pastorek of Louisiana.

NCLB should be reauthorized now, Mr. Pastorek said.

“We get into this conundrum where we kick the can down the road. I think we need to stop kicking it,” he said.

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