FORMER NCLB ADVOCATE EXPLAINS WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHAT TO DO NEXT
Diane Ravitch, the educational historian and former assistant U.S. Secretary of Education who was once of NCLB's most distinguished, scholarly, and fervent supporters, has written a short, simple, but potent call for the abolition of NCLB in Forbes magazine. I don't think I have ever seen any article so short capture so much about NCLB in all the years people have been writing about it.
This is a big event in the policy wonk world, even though it's not the first time she has signaled her belief that we need to make significant changes in NCLB. Ravitch is well-known for being an independent thinker: she manages somehow to be affiliated with both the conservative-libertarian Hoover Institution and the (slightly) left-of-center Brookings Institution, she has received important appointments from President H.W. Bush and from President Clinton, and she's pals with both Checker Finn and Deb Meier. Because of this, perhaps, Ravitch's support for NCLB was once used to great effect to make the law acceptable to skeptics. We will now see if her influence works in the other direction.
I know I forward a lot of articles, but this article really can be useful. It is extremely short and written in jargon-free format for non-educators, so it could easily be used as the basis for all sorts of communications, especially briefings and communications with elected officials, parents, and citizens. It would be an outstanding piece for most local education reporters to read, since it so neatly and simply summarizes what did and didn't happen as a result of NCLB. It concludes with a simple but compelling vision of how the new version of the law ought to be written.