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[Susan notes:

Kudos to Feingold for his specificity and for his willing to break from the corporate pack.

Where are the other politicos? Busy kissing the corporate--er--rings.

Let's hope Feingold is right about the groundswell of opposition.]

Published in Washington Post

To the editor

I read with interest Education Secretary Margaret Spellings's June 9 op-ed, A National Test We Don't Need Ms. Spellings was right that states and localities are the ones that design the curriculum and pay most of the education bills. She was also correct that states and local school districts have historically had the primary leadership role in public education. That's why it's so hard to understand why she keeps promoting the No Child Left Behind law's top-down approach to education.

The law has hamstrung state and local decision making by establishing a federal accountability system that measures and punishes students and schools on the basis of, among other things, annual high-stakes standardized testing. This is the wrong approach, and the groundswell of opposition to the law -- from parents, educators and administrators alike -- shows just how flawed it is. As Congress prepares to consider reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, we should listen to Ms. Spellings when she says, "Neighborhood schools deserve neighborhood leadership, not dictates from bureaucrats thousands of miles away."

Russ Feingold

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