Margaret Spellings: The last NCLB defender?
These days it’s hard to find a strong supporter of No Child Left Behind.
Rep. John Kline, the Republican in line to take over the education committee in the House, thinks the law that ushered in a destructive era of high-stakes testing and phony accountability is a mess. He wants to rewrite it.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has been a big supporter, has nevertheless labeled as "utopian" the 2014 deadline for all students to be proficient on science, math and reading tests.
Diane Ravitch, an education historian who initially supported NCLB, wrote a scathing critique of it in her bestselling book The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
In an interview with my colleague Jay Mathews, Spellings said that NCLB is “a good strong law” with “good strong deadlines.” It should stay on the books as is, she told Jay, because there is not a favorable political climate at the moment to rewrite it.
The interview is one of a series of videotaped discussions that Jay is having with leaders about education, including D.C. Mayor Elect Vincent Gray. You can find them on the Washington Post’s education page.
By “good strong deadlines” Spellings includes the 2014 deadline. Nobody but perhaps Margaret Spellings thinks that that is possible, given the fact that the annual yearly progress mechanism of NCLB has assessed thousands of school as failing.
Spellings never did see the damage that NCLB was doing to schools, but you would think that by now the weight of the evidence would have forced her to see reality.
It must be nice living in a dream world.
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| November 4, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
Categories: No Child Left Behind | Tags: arne duncan, diane ravitch, education secretary arne duncan, jay mathews, margaret spellings, nclb, no child left behind, vincent gray
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