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Point, Counterpoint

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New Web Resources Take Opposite Views of the No Child Left Behind Act

Think the No Child Left Behind Act is ruining America’s public schools? Just look on the Internet to find others who think so, too. Think the federal school improvement law is resurrecting a struggling educational system? Go to the Web again for like-minded commentary.

Those praising and panning the law have created new Web pages to bolster their positions. On Sept. 21, at www.nclbgrassroots.org, the Civil Society Institute, a Newton, Mass.-based think tank, launched an effort to link to articles about the No Child Left Behind law. The group, which argues that the law is not working, highlights stories such as “Frustration Reigns at ‘No Child’ Forum” and “One Size Doesn’t Fit All Students.”

“The real effects of this law are being felt and written about, but are not filtering down to the national organizations and national political candidates,” said Pam A. Solo, the institute’s president.

But the creators of another new Web page think just the opposite: Not enough of the positive news about the law is getting out.

That view comes from the House Education and the Workforce Committee. David Schnittger, a spokesman for Republicans on the committee, said the new page, http://edworkforce.house.gov/nclb.htm, is a retooled version of a No Child Left Behind Act page that the committee already had on its Web site.

The page was developed in part to “counter the smear campaign being mounted against No Child Left Behind by these radical, left-wing political organizations,” Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, the committee’s chairman, said in a statement.

He was referring to the National Education Association and the activist group MoveOn.org. On the committee’s site, visitors can find facts about the law and links to editorials and articles about it. Negative articles, such as those on Ms. Solo’s site, are nowhere to be found in that section of the House committee site. As of last week, the section contained only columns written by Mr. Boehner.

Vol. 24, Issue 05, Page 20

Published in Print: September 29, 2004, as Point, Counterpoint

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