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NCLB: It's The States, Stupid

Mapsnyt.waxa10h6i9cso8kcws8sssok.22qwr5zijcckg48go4wowg88o.thThere's lots to like about this Kevin Carey piece in The New Republic, perhaps most of all his description of the yawning gap between NCLB's actual strength and its perceived punitiveness: "NCLB has ended up in the worst of all possible worlds—it has the reputation of being a punitive, anti-teacher law without any of the benefits of being so."  The piece also nicely captures what many miss about the historic role of states blocking school improvements both during and before NCLB came along.  You think the unions get in the way sometimes, or that Washington comes up with ridiculous rules with no chance of helping?  State education agencies and legislatures beat them all.   
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