Education

NCLB Strikes Out with George Will, “Family Guy”

December 10, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I’m always interested to see how the public perceives NCLB. Not everyone understands growth models or the Title I formula. But NCLB has worked its way into American consciousness.

Yesterday, for example, NCLB was the topic of George Will’s column and in the plot of “Family Guy.” That spans the sublime to the ridiculous—or ridiculous to the sublime, depending on your perspective.

In his Sunday Washington Post column, Will summarizes the conservative critique of NCLB. He endorses the NCLB proposals of Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., and Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J. (see here and here). Their plans, he writes, “would enable states to push Washington toward where it once was and where it belongs regarding K through 12 education: Out.”

Over at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Michael J. Petrilli responds that NCLB’s problems could be solved by national standards and tests. If the federal government pays for their development costs, he writes, states would be responsible for implementing them.

In prime time, the high school principal on “Family Guy” expels the title character’s son because the kid is the “dumbest student we have.” And the school is using history textbooks from 1948 because “NCLB cost us federal funding because test scores were too low,” he tells the PTA. (You can watch the episode at Fox on Demand.)

As most of you know, NCLB doesn’t take away schools’ money for low test scores. And the law doesn’t encourage principals to expel their students. But “Family Guy’s” writers decided to rely on the perception that the law does those things as the premise for their episode. In the end, they reinforced that perception for the show’s estimated six million viewers.

Last month, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., told a reporter that NCLB is “the most tainted brand in America.” That may not be an exaggeration, judging from yesterday’s newspaper and last night’s prime time fare.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. f we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Gunman in 2018 Parkland School Massacre Pleads Guilty
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
3 min read
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)