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NCLB Outrages

Laura, the Lobbyist, For NCLB

by Jim Horn

High shcool librarian gone bad, Laura Bush, is the only person in the White House with an approval rating above 25. As such, she has been added to the lineup to lobby Reps and Senators toward renewal of her husband's education privatization plan, which will be placed in an iron lung while Congress goes on holiday.

According to bottom feeder, Sandy Kress, who claims to be tentacles-off of this reauthorization effort, the chances for reauthorization this year are slim. Even if Kress's words can be trusted, ha ha, the devastation will automatically continue when a one-year extension kicks in if Congress fails to act by the end of September. That is why REPEAL must happen now--CALL TODAY.

From Congressional Quarterly:

. . . . How much of a role Mrs. Bush intends to play going forward is uncertain. But the president can use all the help he can get.

Earlier this month, McKeon indicated that he could not support any legislation that would not have a majority of GOP members behind it.

That could be an extremely difficult goal to reach, considering a competing measure (HR 1539), sponsored by Republican Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, already has 60 GOP cosponsors. That bill would, in Hoekstraâs words, make the law âvoluntaryâ by letting states come up with their own ways to measure school performance.

Two weeks are left before lawmakers leave for the four-week August recess, and neither chamber has begun moving a measure. The law is set to expire at the end of September. A one-year extension kicks in if no action is taken; and even if that year passes, Congress can continue core elements of the law by appropriating money for its programs.

Complicating the lack of movement are significant policy debates that have emerged between Republicans and Democrats, particularly over the weight standardized testing should be given in determining adequate yearly progress â the centerpiece of the law once expected to be President Bushâs domestic legacy.

âI think it is getting pretty late,â said Sandy Kress, who served as a special adviser to Bush in 2001 and is largely credited with bringing various parties together to pass the original law.

Now lobbying for a coalition of business interests, Kress said the shortened time frame, the complexity of the issues, disagreements over key aspects of the law and a more partisan mood on Capitol Hill have dimmed the prospects for renewal.

âI think these are the more serious issues, rather than the presidentâs effectiveness,â Kress said.

Having Laura Bush out front on the issue might not be a silver bullet to win over the lawâs critics, but she could salvage support among those who have yet to decide.

âI think the president recognizes there are some real problems with the reauthorization, especially in light of what Mr. McKeon said,â about needing a majority of Republicans, said Dale E. Kildee, D-Mich., who chairs the House Education and Labor subcommittee with jurisdiction over the reauthorization.

âI think she can play a significant role. Sheâs respected on both sides of the aisle. [Mrs. Bush] probably can move them toward getting a majority of the minority.â

— Jim Horn


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