Kennedy-Miller NCLB Bill…And More US DOE Man Purse Action!

There has been little press on the Kennedy – Miller NCLB bill which would retroactively apply the recent NCLB regulatory changes. And what has been written is pretty confusing.

For instance, Congressional Quarterly reported that Kennedy – Miller would “change a central component of the statute.” Not really, it would retroactively apply a few rules changes that have already been made.

In Education Week Secretary of Education Rod Paige said the bill would, deny many students “their No Child Left Behind-provided tutors or [force] them back to a school from whose shackles they had already broken away thanks to” the law. Again, not really. The bill would continue supplemental services for students for the remainder of the school year and allow students who had exercised their right to public school choice to stay at their new school until they had completed the highest grade at that school.

However, Kennedy and Miller themselves probably didn’t help defuse matters when they issued a press release headlined, “Legislation would spare thousands of schools from being

unfairly graded by the Bush Administration.”

That said, the Bush Administration foot-dragging here is inexplicable. Kennedy and Miller (who are obviously not NCLB foes) are right. Make the fix now (which the Department of Education can do). As this article points out, every time the Administration screws around on this sort of thing it just hands NCLB opponents an easy issue. Margaret Spellings, it’s time to crack the whip again.

Win A U.S. Department of Education Man Purse Afterthought: At least two, maybe more, states asked the Department of Education for authority to retroactively apply the new NCLB changes in amended accountability plans and were denied. One was North Carolina, and Senator Edwards is a Kennedy-Miller co-sponsor. The first reader who can identify the others (state department of ed officials take note…) wins a genuine U.S. Department of Education Man Purse. Email education AT with any information (and include your address so we can ship this fine collector’s quality product to you!).

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