The Washington Post has a front page article today on the widespread dissatisfaction of many legislators–including Republicans– with No Child Left Behind. The Post reports:
“More than 50 GOP members of the House and Senate — including the House’s second-ranking Republican — will introduce legislation today that could severely undercut President Bush’s signature domestic achievement, the No Child Left Behind Act, by allowing states to opt out of its testing mandates.”
The article tends to characterize conservative efforts to reform NCLB as a big repudiation of the President and a political war, but I think that Senator Jim Demint (R-SC) has the right sentiment: “Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said that advocates do not intend to repeal the No Child Left Behind Act. Instead, they want to give states more flexibility to meet the president’s goals of education achievement, he said.”
What the legislation would is free states from federal mandates of how to use funds, but still hold them accountable for results, requiring that they still test and report results. But regardless of the politics, this is the right direction for education policy, which clearly is a matter that is best left to states and localities instead of Washington.