Tearing down NCLB (and most efforts to improve it) has emerged as the central strategy of the Fordham Foundation’s Checker Finn during the past few weeks and months. According to Finn (and his deputy Mike Petrilli), little good came from the original NCLB -- and little can be done to improve it.
No doubt, Finn and Petrilli (with whom I have worked) find lots of company in criticizing NCLB from both the left and right, though most seem to want to mend, not end the act. But it’s hard not to notice that these two were critical friends of the law for almost the entire duration of its existence. It’s as if the Ed Trust turned against the law, or the NEA came out for it.
Their turnabout on NCLB could represent the inevitable scramble to get off a sinking ship, some sort of epiphany, or an opportunistic change of course prompted by, among other things, the decline of Republican fortunes. But the change is something that needs to be addressed, I think. [Petrilli thinks he’s already covered this with his NRO piece, but for some reason I’m not satisfied.]
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