Saturday, April 23, 2005

Washington Post Sees Positive Side Of NCLB 

The editors of the Post say that liberals should stop all their whining about NCLB and embrace some of its findings. From the newspaper:

Some of this political turmoil reflects resistance not just to testing but to the implications of the extraordinarily poor school performance that some testing has exposed. In particular, the requirement that states break down their scores by race has shown huge gaps between groups, even in the best school districts. Ideally, this would jolt previously satisfied educators out of their complacency and lead to improvements. But an easier response is to lash out at the law.

Some of the complaints, particularly about funding, also wrongly focus on the federal government, which has provided extra money for testing -- but not for the extra effort it will take to get more students to pass the tests. In fact state governments bear this responsibility -- and responsibility for reducing inequities in public funding, which routinely favors wealthier districts. Why Democrats, advocates for the poor, teachers unions and others, haven't yet realized the extraordinarily progressive, not to say redistributive, possibilities of this law remains a mystery.

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