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Thompson: Hidden Costs Of NCLB -- Then & Now

Money-down-drainRemember way back nearly a decade ago when "reformers" laughed at Connecticut's lawsuit challenging NCLB for imposing unfunded mandates?  The state argued that it would need to nearly triple spending on standardized testing or dumb down its assessments.  It estimated that the additional cost of meeting NCLB mandates would be $41.6 million dollars.  Now that 39 states and D.C. contemplate the costs of "getting out from under NCLB's thumb," those arguments don't seem so funny.  John Fensterwald reports in Thoughts on Public Education that California estimates that the "reforms"  required to be granted NCLB waivers by the Duncan administration would cost the state between $2 to $2.7 billion.  It would cost $76 million just to train principals and conduct teacher evaluations.  Children Now acknowledges that that the price tag for such an evaluation system, that might not be long for the world, would be " huge lift."   The California Teachers Union says it would be "money down a rat hole." Connecticut deserves an apology.-JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.

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Taxpayers are beginning to notice the shakedown.

I think the courtcase we need to look for is either by the first state, among those without a waiver, which is denied federal funding because of NCLB mandates from which other states are extralegally exempt; or else, the first waiver state denied funding because Duncan determines it didn't meet his extralegal conditions.

Slam dunk.

Great thought. But with the Supreme Court we have now, I'm not assuming anything. Ordinarilly, the use of VAMS to fire teachers would be seen as an unconstitutional case of collective punishment. But Roberts on the Right has the same situational ethics as "reformers" on the Left. I wouldn't be surprised by judges who would rule that Obama's health care mandate is unconstitutional and then rule the opposite on waivers. That being said, I assuming that unions are quietly doing their legal homework and thinking through the best jurisdictions to legally challenge a lot of abuses that have come from "reform." And just the threat in Chicago of the National Labor Relations Board got the mayor to back down from his divide and conquer tactics.

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