A Glimmer of Sanity?

Incredibly, it seems that W’s plan to expand the No Child Left Behind hyper-testing curriculum into high school may actually meet with some opposition in Congress – from both sides of the aisle. Among other criticisms of the plan, some of the legislators are waking up to the fact that the law is woefully underfunded.

Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), who sided with Bush to pass the law, said he wouldn’t do so again unless the president agreed to erase what Democrats said was a multibillion-dollar school funding shortage.

"If you want real education reform, you can’t do it on the cheap," Miller said.

I’d agree but the premise is flawed. NCLB has very little to do with "real education reform". Neither does W’s proposals for high school.

In September, Bush unveiled a plan to require testing every year in grades nine through 11. That would effectively triple the federal testing mandate for high schools — a 1994 federal law requires one year of high school testing.

Many details of Bush’s plan remain to be fleshed out, but the president made clear after his reelection that he would not relent. His plan calls for $250 million to help pay for the additional tests and $400 million to boost remedial reading programs and identify students who may need extra help at the outset of high school.

Let’s face it – high school is the level in American education most in need of reform. But requiring extra tests and paying for remedial reading programs is not even close. Maybe the high school reform project being created by the National Governors Association will come up with some better ideas.