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What NCLB Reauthorize Requires Is Better Politics, Not More Policy

Everyone says they know how to fix NCLB -- what should be done -- but no one seems to know how to get the politics right to get there. Former New York City education guy Robert Gordon's piece in Slate does much the same, unfortunately. Titled with supreme confidence (How to fix the No Child Left Behind Act), the Gordon piece rehashes the obstacles we all know about and then proposes -- yes -- national standards as a solution. Politically speaking, NCLB proponents need to do something along these lines: buy off the teachers by softening the mandatory merit pay language, win back the testing hawks by dumping local assessments, and make the multiple measures language tight enough that Spellings and the business groups can live with it. Give it a new name, let everyone say that it's not NCLB anymore, and declare victory. Pretty? No. Perfect? No. But that's not what this is really all about. Via Eduwonk.

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