NCLB Wrapup

NCLB WRAPUP….I just know that everyone is fascinated by the ongoing NCLB discussion and wants it to continue forever, right? Right?

OK, probably not. But just to get a bit of closure on the one specific issue that was bugging me, I called education guru Andy Rotherham a few minutes ago and chatted a bit. The 100% passing requirement of NCLB is plainly absurd, I said, so why is it there? Answer: initially it wasn’t. The original New Dem proposal that it’s based on suggested an ultimate goal of 90%.

So how did this get changed to 100%? Answer: George Bush insisted on it because he’s not a 90% kind of guy. Why did Dems agree to this? Answer: because urban school districts are so fantastically far from meeting any reasonable goal that it hardly seemed worth fighting over. But eventually it’ll get fixed in one of the mandated reauthorizations.

So there you have it. I’m not, if I can coin a phrase, 100% satisfied by this explanation, but among progressive Dems, at least, apparently the idea was simply to get something halfway reasonable in place and then plan on tweaking it later.

Among Republicans, who knows? But a couple of years ago Reed Hundt gave us a clue about how at least some of them were thinking.

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