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NCLB Outrages

Finally, a needed review of No Child Left Behind

Ohanian Comment: One is a Republican and one is a Democrat. I say they are Standardistos and to hell with their scrutiny. Here is the bio of the Aspen expert on NCLB:

Alex Nock
Director, Commission on No Child Left Behind

Contact: alex.nock@aspeninstitute.org

Areas of Expertise:

Alex Nock is the Director of the Commission on No Child Left Behind, a bipartisan, independent effort to make concrete and realistic recommendations to improve the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap. Prior to the Commission, Alex worked for over a decade on Capitol Hill developing education and social policy. Alex last held the position of Education Coordinator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce (Democratic staff). In this position Alex was responsible for Democratic policy and politics on higher education, elementary and secondary education, workforce and job training, disability policy and other social service issues. Alex worked most closely with Congressman George Miller, the Committee’s Ranking Democratic Member, and Congressman Dale E. Kildee, the Ranking Member on the 21st Century Competitiveness Subcommittee. Alex spearheaded numerous reauthorizations while working on Capitol Hill, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Head Start Act, and was one of the lead staff responsible for NCLB. Prior to this position, Alex worked for Congressman Matthew G. Martinez (D-CA), the Human Resources Subcommittee, Education and Labor Committee, and Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD). Alex has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

Remember, George Miller is a big part of the problem.

It took long enough, but finally the controversial No Child Left Behind Act will get some much needed scrutiny.

An independent, bipartisan commission will spend the next several months doing what the administration of President George W. Bush should have done long ago, taking seriously legitimate questions from around the country about the law's effectiveness.

Legal challenges to NCLB, including one filed here in Michigan, have so far failed. But the complaints of parents, teachers and school administrators still warrant review. Each of these groups have raised concerns over inadequate funding to meet the NCLB objectives and the impact that NCLB's heavy reliance on testing has on some groups, particularly minorities who are poor students.

Given the right level of attention, some of what teachers and parents have to say could greatly improve the 5-year-old law, which is the Bush administration's attempt to hold public schools accountable for improving basic academic skills.

In a perfect world, the administration would have created a mechanism for the public and educators to voice concerns so the law could be continuously refined. But this isn't an administration that opens its arms easily to criticism, especially on an issue as central as education policy is to the Bush legacy.

So it's the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit Washington think tank, which has formed the commission and is funding public hearings across the country. The panel's cochairs are former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes.

They each have enough political credibility to bring attention to problems with NCLB. The public and educators should speak up loudly.

You can make your voice heard, by searching for NCLB at http://www.aspeninstitute.org.

— Editorial
Detroit Free Press


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