No Mandate Left Behind

Two weeks ago, when the House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up two bills to update the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Democrats and their allies screamed bloody murder. Ranking Democratic member (and former chairman) George Miller called the bills “radical” and “highly partisan” and said they would “turn the clock back decades on equity and accountability.” A coalition of civil-rights, education-reform, and business groups said they amounted to a “rollback” of NCLB.

Miller put forward his own bills, which most of the same groups quickly endorsed, and which, Miller argues, “eliminat[e] inflexible and outdated provisions of No Child Left Behind and requir[e] states and [school districts] to adopt strong but flexible and achievable standards, assessments, and accountability reforms.”

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