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Democratic Candidates Catch Up To Dean On NCLB

This Washington Post column from last weekend credits Howard Dean for influencing both the campaign tactics and the positions of the Democratic candidates -- including on NCLB:

"The legislation's merits are still hotly debated, but its politics are not: Experts say the law has flopped with parents, teachers, students and most others involved with education, who often describe its testing regime as unworkable," according to the piece (The Dems, Now Dancing to His Tune).  "In 2003, Dean was among the first Democrats to start hammering No Child Left Behind for its testing system, but that criticism is everywhere now. Clinton lambastes it almost daily on the campaign trail; her husband, himself back on the stump, has called attacking No Child Left Behind the easiest way for a politician to get applause."

I'm not sure I'd credit Dean alone for helping the candidates figure this out, but it's useful to remember that, five years ago, few if any Dems -- including Clinton and Obama -- were bashing NCLB. 


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When President Obama and Congress drive a stake through the heart of NCLB type accountability, you will write the most gracious of the tributes to Dean.

Seriously, there is a lesson about the NCLB type approach. Its goal was unworthy of America. We can do better than green eye shades and shame.

As slow as the Democrats were--trailing way behind students, parents and teachers--they were still brighter than you when it came to NCLB. I think you must be the last holdout in defense of the testing mania.

The time for revision of NCLB has come and gone - we have nothing to do but wait and see if someone will be brave enough to fix it. Right now everyone is afraid, and the children of this nation are paying the cost.

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