The state Board of Education here in Virginia has voted to request an exemption from parts of the No Child Left Behind provisions. In addition, there are several bills to do the same thing floating around the current session of the state legislature. The basic idea, of course, is to get around some of the rules while still keeping the relatively small pot of money the federal government sends our way for education.

Much of this seems to be an attempt to patch up a very leaky ship, but what really strikes me are the state Republican leaders supporting the exemption. These are the same folks who fell all over themselves to praise the law (and get their picture taken with W) when it was proposed three years ago. It was clear then, and these exemption requests make it even clearer now, that they never really read the law in the first place. They had no idea of the details of its provisions and, as with almost every education law, they had not talked to any local educators (certainly not teachers!) about the impact it would have on the classroom.

Maybe next time our representatives will do their homework and avoid supporting a massive federal proposal without investigating it thoroughly. But I doubt it.