What Education Policy Do Civil Rights Groups Want?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Now begins the great wrangle over federal education policy.

Senator Lamar Alexander, the senior Republican in the Senate on the HELP (health, education, labor, and pensions) Committee is at work revising No Child Left Behind. On January 20, he will hold hearings on testing. He is deciding whether to eliminate NCLB’s annual testing mandate and allow states to make their own decisions, to switch to grade-span testing, or to leave the current system in place. The Obama administration is lobbying hard to keep the current system, designed by the second President Bush’s administration, intact. In other words, Secretary Duncan wants to preserve the status quo, over the opposition of parents and educators, and despite the fact that no high-performing nation tests every child every year.

Earlier this week, nearly 20 civil rights groups endorsed the status quo. Valerie Strauss wondered what these civil rights groups were thinking.

She wrote:

“There…

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