When I started to read the opinion piece on No Child Left Behind written by our junior Senator George Allen, I was expecting just another rehash of W’s party line talking points. To my surprise, he actually was very critical of NCLB and wants to alter the law.
For this reason, I’ve introduced legislation in Congress with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that would amend, not end, No Child Left Behind. It establishes guidelines under which a state can receive freedom from the "adequate yearly progress" formula in NCLB, a formula that is illogical and confusing to the public. This blunt, one-size-fits-all federal measuring stick is forcing Virginia students to meet lower federal standards!
Allen’s complaints about NCLB, however, all revolve around states rights.* Unfortunately, he misses the primary flaw and is still full of praise for the testing-as-education concept at the core of this mess. On top of that, Allen is including in his bill an expansion of that testing to include U.S. history, civics and writing (two guesses as to whose version will be tested).
But still, it’s nice to see a friend of W speaking out against this train wreck of a law, especially when he declares the federal administration of the education system under No Child Left Behind as "self-defeating micromanagement". We do agree on that.
* You remember. Support for states rights used to be one of way you could tell a Republican from a Democrat.