Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

Bad News From Connecticut

The Standardisto editorialist at the New York Times will not give up. . . or relent.

The No Child Left Behind Act has been a burden for the school districts struggling with yearly tests that often show unpleasant results. But it's been working on the most critical level, improving students' performance and closing the gap between minority and white students. So Gov. Jodi Rell of Connecticut took the wrong road this week when she signed a bill that endorses a plan by the state attorney general to sue the federal government over some of the act's provisions.

Schools will clearly need more aid from the federal government if they are going to meet the high standards of No Child Left Behind over the long run. The trick is to press for that aid without undermining the good parts of the act. On that front, Connecticut is failing.

State leaders are focusing their protests on the requirement that schools test students every year between grades three and eight. Some in Connecticut claim that testing annually would be too frequent, and that the federal government has provided too little money to carry out the testing. Both arguments are dubious. No parent should have to wait two years to find out whether a marginal school is actually getting better or worse. And the federal dollars allotted for test development seem adequate. In addition, the cost figures being thrown around in Connecticut seem simply implausible.

Governor Rell signed the enabling legislation for the lawsuit, a spokesman said, because she is "interested in the outcome." This is not a parlor game. Connecticut has one of the worst achievement gaps and an abysmal history when it comes to educating poor and minority children. It is the last place that should be challenging the most important educational reform of the last half-century.

— Editorial
New York Times


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.