Federal Opinion

New NCLB Bill “Isn’t Wonkery,” Says Chairman Miller;
Criticisms Are “Hokum”

By Alexander Russo — September 05, 2007 1 min read
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The public mud-slinging between Spellings and Miller is really heating up. Makes you wonder what they say about each other behind closed doors. And, substantively, it bodes poorly for a strengthening of the current NCLB law.

Responding to Spellings’ criticisms read to him by USA Today’s Greg Toppo at a conference call with reporters today, Chairman Miller said that what he’s trying to do with NCLB isn’t just “wonkery” (as Spellings describes it) but rather much-needed changes to an imperfect law. “I know she wants to add confusion and doesn’t like the debate,” said Miller of Spellings. He also repeatedly mocked the “99.9 percent pure” claim Spellings once made (fire the writer who came up with that one), and called claims that multiple measures would muck up accountability “hokum.”

Obviously, Miller’s got to do what he’s got to do, and -- this sentence is already so vague -- is going to go ahead and do it. But still it’s sad to hear him denounce the current NCLB system which he created and defended for so long, now using much the same language as his detractors had (ie, a single test on a single day determining AYP). Such is politics. Somewhere, Joel Packer is smiling.

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