Could a new education law ever please everyone?

Critics of the bill say states were free for decades to set their own goals, but they failed to narrow achievement gaps between students of different races and income groups.

The first comprehensive, bipartisan attempt to overhaul the federal No Child Left Behind Act would change the law’s accountability system dramatically, focus attention on so-called dropout factories, and support teachers. Yet, already some advocacy groups have voiced concerns—which begs the question: Could an NCLB rewrite ever please everyone?

The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. It was co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

The 865-page bill (read a summary here) has angered some advocacy groups who are upset about its new accountability system. The bill would scrap Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), instead giving states the authority to make sure students are making “continuous improvement.”…Read More

Millions of special ed dollars went to swordfish, booze; state auditor calls for collaborative reform

Massachusetts’ state auditor is calling for sweeping reform of oversight and financial accountability for the state’s 30 special education agencies after her office found that several of the collaboratives had misused millions of public dollars, the Huffington Post reports. An audit of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative, READS Collaborative and the Southeastern Massachusetts Education Collaborative by State Auditor Suzanne Bump revealed patterns of lavish spending and salaries, conflicts of interest and overall systemic problems in standards, oversight and accountability…

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