Helen Ladd: The Failure of No Child Left Behind

Diane Ravitch's blog

Professor Helen Ladd is one of the nation’s most distinguished economists of education; she holds a chair at Duke University.

In this article, she reviews the federal program No Child Left Behind.

The first conclusion one could draw was that the Congress and President committed a fatal flaw by putting the federal government in charge of all educational policy, a function normally left to the states. Whether the Secretary was Rod Paige, Margaret Spellings, Arne Duncan, or John King, their assumption was that they were in charge of education across the nation.

She begins:

No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2001 reauthorization of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, represented a sea change for the federal government’s role in k-12 education, a function reserved by the U.S. Constitution for the states. Prior to that year, the federal government had relied primarily on the equal protection clause of the…

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