An NCLB Webb? The D’s Could Be Playing Offense On Education

In the tight VA Senate race education is finally making a small appearance says the WaPo. It’s really nothing and the race between incumbent George Allen (R) and challenger James Webb (D)* is turning on other issues. But, as Ed Truster Ross Wiener lays out in this Washington Post op-ed from June, if Allen wants to inject No Child Left Behind into this race, doesn’t it give Webb a great opportunity to tie that issue to a larger theme in the campaign — namely Allen’s legislative commitment on issues effecting minorities? Webb’s taking a reasonable position now and focusing on other issues, but there is an opportunity on the table.

Says Wiener: “Allen’s [NCLB fix bill] bill would allow states simply to walk away from their responsibility to educate African American, Latino and low-income students.”

Read it, Wiener’s op-ed is practically ad copy…though, of course, all this would be easier for Dems all over the country to attack on if the NEA’s No Child position were not much closer to Allen’s than Wiener’s…another victory for progressivism…that’s a problem that is going to become more complicated in the next few years.

Update: A Dem-strategist who knows education, too, writes to say: This “lets Dems off way too easy. You can target African-Americans and/or Latinos and pound them with this message (via TV, radio, mail, events, etc.), all without ever using the toxic words “No Child Left Behind!” And really, one only needs a small pair of stones to take the same message to white liberal activists.”

*Disc: I live in VA and am supporting Webb in this race.

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