As one of the key authors of the original NCLB law, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., was expected by all to play a major role in its revision as chairman of the U.S. Senate's education committee. However, Kennedy's recently diagnosed brain cancer may change that and further cloud chances for renewal this year. "He's a giant force in the Senate," said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy. "[The question is], will he be active enough to exercise some leadership?"

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