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National Conference of State Legislatures Cites Flaws in No Child Left Behind

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 9, 2007The National Conference of State Legislatures today took a hard-line against any form of national academic standards, declaring that any attempt to unite school curricula across states would be unacceptable until perceived flaws in the federal No Child Left Behind Act are fixed.

The strongly worded new policy against national standards—even voluntary ones—prompted virtually no debate today and was approved on a voice vote during the Denver-based group’s business meeting at its annual conference here, which drew nearly 9,000 attendees. NCSL policies such as the new one on national standards set the Washington lobbying agenda of the legislative group.

The policy reads, in part: “We need rigorous state standards that are anchored in real world demands. … This can be most readily accomplished through individual state refinement of standards … not through federal action—which flies in the face not only of the role of states since the inception of our system of providing education, but the historical role of states and local school districts in funding education with diminished federal support.”

Much of the group’s opposition to national standards is rooted in its dislike for the NCLB act, which is up for reauthorization before Congress.

The now-enacted policy states, in part, that NCLB “arbitrarily overidentifies failure … driving states to broaden the definition of proficiency and/or relax standards.” NCSL education policy official David Shreve, who drafted the national standards proposal on behalf of the committee, dubbed it the “No way, Jose, policy.”

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