Monday, April 05, 2004

Kerry voted for NCLB before he voted against it 

Another of the Northern Alliance brethren contributes this analysis of Kerry's voting record on No Child Left Behind, from reputed right-wing rag the Los Angeles Times. When Ron Brownstein says that "[h]is proposed revisions mostly favor the adults working in the school system over students and their parents," you know you've done something really bad. Brownstein continunes,
The demand for loosening the accountability standard is based largely on the myth, now embraced by Kerry, that the law punishes schools designated as needing improvement.

In fact, schools face no changes until they have failed to raise student performance for at least two consecutive years. Even then, they are only required to develop an improvement plan and, more important, to allow parents to transfer their children to other public schools. If the school fails to improve student performance for three consecutive years, it must provide low-income parents stipends to obtain extra tutoring for their kids, often from respected providers like Sylvan Learning Center.

In other words, when students don't make progress, the law initially demands that schools offer parents more options � the chance to switch schools or receive extra tutoring. "These are not things that parents will tell you are punitive � they are benefits," said Ross Wiener, policy director for the Education Trust, a group that advocates for low-income children.