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Education Reporter

Final Regulations Issued for No Child Left Behind

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige released final regulations on Nov. 26 for the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). These regulations put the final touches on the massive education bill signed by President Bush one year ago.

The regulations cover accountability (of schools to the state and the states to the federal government), "adequate yearly progress" starting points and targets, alternative assessments for children with serious cognitive disabilities, school restructuring, and school choice for parents with children in failing schools.

NCLB authorizes unprecedented education spending ($26.5+ billion) including extraordinary resources ($10.4 billion) for the Title I program. If Title I funded schools fail to make progress in meeting state-mandated standards, the government will pour more money and resources into them.

Many traditional education proponents and pro-family activists concede that NCLB does contain a few hard-won positive aspects, including some protection for student privacy, constitutionally-approved school prayer, and the Boy Scouts. NCLB prohibits mandatory national tests, but the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is now the bellwether for state testing programs.

Some experts assert that NCLB represents the final takeover of American education by the federal government, a process that began in 1994 with the passage of the Goals 2000 and School-to-Work laws. Sue Ella Deadwyler, education researcher and editor of Georgia Insight, points out that "the Constitution of the United States leaves control of education to the respective states. . . . NCLB is said to be 'voluntary' but uses this directive: 'Each state educational agency that desires to receive funds under this subsection shall submit an application to the Secretary. . ." If the state doesn't comply with the mandates, education funding will be withheld.

Mrs. Deadwyler notes that adherence to these standards (the new federal curriculum) will be measured by state tests that are largely subjective assessments measuring attitudes and values rather than objective knowledge.

NCLB's final regulations are "intended to guide states on how to meet the requirements of the new law. . . " The U.S. Department of Education "will provide clear requirements, as well as help the states meet the solid deadlines in January through May . . ."

This is top-down control of America's public schools as envisioned by Marc Tucker in his 18-page letter to Hillary Clinton in 1992.

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