It’s possible that the No Child Left Behind law passed with large amounts of hoopla almost two years ago, may actually become a political liability for W in the 2004 election. It seems that criticism of NCLB is growing in some "swing" electoral states. Local leaders are saying W and his pet Congress have not provided enough money to adequately fund the requirements of the law and that the standards themselves may actually be unreasonable. This comes after W made education and NCLB a centerpiece of his campaign in 2000, touting his "wonderful" record when he was governor of Texas.
I don’t really find this surprising. The old saying goes that "All politics is local" and nothing is more local than education. Polls have constantly shown that on a general (national) level, people buy the concept that public schools are fair to poor and need lots of improvement. When you ask the same people about their local school system, they give it much higher marks. Get down to the neighborhood and a large majority of people who speak to pollsters generally have wonderful things to say about their kids’ school and teachers. Many of these folks won’t take kindly to W giving those schools and teachers a failing grade.
Completely aside from all that, I hate this article. As with every other issue being discussed by W and the other candidates, the news media ignores the actual positions held by the politicians and how their views differ. Instead newspapers and TV present this kind of story, assessing how the topic affects the race like the weather at a NASCAR event. I suppose it’s easier to write a compilation of opinions from pundits (no shortage of those in DC) than to completely research an issue and what the candidates have said and done on those issues. And then, of course, the reporters would need to put it all in an interesting, understandable format. Too much like real work.