NCLB survives 2006

In response to USA Today’s top education stories of the year, Eduwonk argues the real story is NCLB’s survival, despite lawsuits and state threats to defy the law.

Dogs that don’t bark don’t make news but the press falls all over themselves to write stories every time the National Education Association files another frivolous suit against NCLB or a state makes an empty threat to turn down millions in federal education aid. Isn’t it newsworthy that none of that has come to fruition?

The USA Today story echoes complaints that NCLB lets states test very basic skills to comply. As Eduwonk points out, NCLB can’t be demanding too little and too much at the same time. The fact that states set a low bar and then can’t get students over it is not a NCLB-created problem. Even the law’s critics want more NCLB not less, writes Eduwonk, who follows the politics closely.

Eduwonk’s most important eduhappening of the year is “the emerging debate about and bipartisan support” for weighted-student funding. It seems too soon to say that’s going to move forward, though it should.

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