08/10/2011 03:54 pm ET Updated Oct 10, 2011

The New Republic: Why Obama's New Plan To Reform Education Is Likely Illegal

Faced with a looming deadline and a deadlocked legislature, Barack Obama is employing a strategy many wish he had in the recent debt ceiling talks: He's bypassing Congress altogether. On Monday, Obama approved a Department of Education plan to grant waivers allowing states to bypass the most stringent and unrealistic requirements of the Bush-era education law known as No Child Left Behind, including its fairy-tale provision that all schools must be 100 percent proficient in reading and math by 2014, in exchange for the adoption of certain policy priorities. Owing to the fact that Republicans have vowed to block any attempt to reform NCLB this summer, the administration's plan to grant waivers is a valuable and timely stop-gap solution to prevent schools from needlessly being labeled as "failing." The one problem, however, is that it probably isn't legal.

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