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NCLB Outrages

No Crappy Law Left Standing

Yahoo! This is Addison County Vermont.

by: odum

Addison County Democratic Senators Claire Ayer and Harold Giard were right out of the legislative gate with a slew of new bills stuck to the wall. Although several of them merit some discussion, this one in particular made me feel all warm and giddy inside. From S.16: An Act Relating to Noncompliance with the No Child Left Behind Act:

(a) The state board of education is directed not to implement amendments to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 made in the reauthorization of the act under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The board shall continue to implement the Vermont state assessment system as envisioned in No. 60 of the Acts of 1997, but shall not require more statewide testing than that authorized under Act 60. Further, the board shall not implement the adequate yearly progress system nor require schools and school districts to meet the highly qualified teacher provisions of Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act.

(b) Schools, school districts, supervisory unions, school administrators, teachers, other school personnel, the state board of education, and the state department of education shall comply with Vermont state law in which any provision of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 conflicts with state law.

The bill also specifically repeals language currently in the law that makes specific reference to adherence to NCLB.

Let's be clear, NCLB has made a bad situation much worse. It is a turkey that mandates a cookie-cutter approach to children, teachers, school districts that is antithetical to local control, and lays the groundwork for even more direct, heavy-handed government intervention when schools fail under this deliberately underfunded (read sabotaged) regime.

Teachers don't like it. Parents don't like it. Liberals don't like it. Conservatives don't like it. In 2005, Utah Republican Governor John Huntsman was the first Governor to sign a law allowing his state's schools to ignore NCLB provisions that conflict with state law. From commondreams.org:

During the debate, several lawmakers protested the growth of federal influence on Utah's schools, asserting that while Washington paid 8 cents of every education dollar in the state, the law had given it virtually total control.

NCLB also generated lawsuits from districts in Vermont, Michigan and Texas, plus National Education Association chapters in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah - which famously prompted Bush Education Secretary Rod Paige to publicly call the NEA a "terrorist organization."

Sure it comes with badly needed federal money, but not enough to matter in any meaningful way, when compared to the damage it does.

And I don't care that Ted Kennedy co-sponsored it. Nor do his excuses and scapegoating get him off the hook for adding his name to this fiasco foisted upon American families. Big shout out to Ayer and Giard for taking the bull by the horns on this one.

— Odum
Green Mountin Daily


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