Educational Editorial: No Child Left Behind

By Dr. William Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan is on a tour of the country trying to get feedback from teachers, students, and parents in fifteen states about No Child Left Behind, the educational cornerstone of the Bush Administration.

President Obama has committed to "overhaul" the program but has been hesitant to be specific or condemning. In the most hotly delivered political rhetoric about No Child Left Behind, critics surgically focus on implementation rather than intent. Few seem to remember as well that it was US Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts who helped to champion the initial legislation.

Now what would have created a political union between two diametrically opposing forces?...perhaps it was educational accountability! So what will Secretary Duncan hear on his tour?

First he will find that people in general "love" accountability and standards....they just don't like tests. And, standards without tests are suggestions. ...and, oh, they are good for other people but not for their families.

I have historically found that in issues ranging from behavior to academics, parents want justice for all other children but mercy for theirs. Sec Duncan will find that accountability for other states, cities, communities, schools, and families are great...but not for us.

He will also find hitting any target is related to both distance and accuracy. State oversight of schools is difficult, but, under our Constitution, federal oversight is impractical, if not illegal.

Ultimately he will find that people believe that education is an investment and should be accountable...but to states!

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.