President Obama is pushing Congress to replace the “No Child Left Behind” education initiative in his weekly address.

Obama said his own education plan would rely less on standardized test than the program created under President George W. Bush, which has been unpopular with teachers’ unions since it was implemented in 2001. 

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“For decades, we threw money at education without making sure our schools were actually improving, or whether we were giving teachers the tools they need, or whether our taxpayer dollars were being used effectively. And our kids too often paid the price,” Obama said.  

“This year, I want to work with both parties in Congress to replace No Child Left Behind with a smarter law that addresses the overuse of standardized tests, makes a real investment in preschool, and gives every kid a fair shot in the new economy,” he continued. 

Obama criticized congressional Republicans for proposing cuts to federal education funding. 

“It’s pretty common sense that an education bill should actually improve education," he said. “But as we speak, there’s a Republican bill in Congress that would frankly do the opposite.

“At a time when we should invest more in our kids, their plan would lock in cuts to schools for the rest of this decade,” Obama continued. “We’d end up actually investing less in our kids in 2021 than we did in 2012.” 

Obama said his education proposal would give more U.S. children a chance to succeed in the modern economy. 

“Denying a quality education to the children of working families is as wrong as denying healthcare or child care to working families,” he said.  We are better than this. I have a different vision for the middle class.

“In today’s world, we have to equip all our kids with an education that prepares them for success, regardless of what they look like, or how much their parents make, or the zip code they live in,” Obama continued. “And that means trying new things, investing in what’s working, and fixing what’s not.”