Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Democrats Try to Soften Bush's Education Law

As much as I oppose President Bush for his bungling of the Iraq War, I support him on keeping NCLB strong rather than watering it down and selling out kids our schools are failing.  These critiques are exactly right:

But in a sign of the difficult political calculus in extending a measure that has opponents on both the right and the left, for every supporter of the proposed changes there has emerged an opponent.

Amy Wilkins, vice president of the Education Trust, a rights  group, said the authors were succumbing to pressure from “well-financed and  ill-informed defenders of the status quo.”

“The heart of the law has been hollowed out,” said Ms. Wilkins, who helped draft the original in 2001.

Michael J. Petrilli, a former Department of Education official who is a vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, has nicknamed the education committee’s draft “The Suburban Schools Relief Act of 2007” because  he says it is intended to appease the middle class.

Samara Yudof, a spokeswoman for the education secretary,  Margaret Spellings, said, “We have serious concerns that the draft creates  loopholes in accountability measures, provides fewer options for parents, increases complexity and provides less transparency.”

“We will not support measures that water down the  accountability provisions,” Ms. Yudof added.

Democrats Try to Soften Bush’s Education Law
Published: September 1, 2007

As Congress returns next week, leading Democrats are struggling for the formula that can attract bipartisan support to extend the life of President Bush’s education law, No Child Left Behind. In doing so, they are proposing to ease the pressure on suburban schools.

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