Ted Kennedy doing his part in the War on Education

Our much-beloved senior senator from the state of Massachusetts is stumping for a massive No Child Left Untested Behind re-up, and we ought to all be concerned. As the footer to the article notes, Teddy was one of the authors of the act. He’s kind enough to acknowledge that it’s not perfect legislation and does point to important concerns (you need to fund the damned mandates, for instance), and I think we all agree with the stated goals – stronger standards, better teachers, a system that prepares students for the challenges we’re all going to face in the world, etc.

Then again, we all agree that we’d like world peace, too. It’s just that some people think that’s best accomplished by invading Iraq.

The problem is that NCLB isn’t a good-faith policy – it’s a tour de double-speak, a financial windfall for the nation’s booming assessment industry that replaces teaching with teaching-to-the-test, encourages systemic fraud and eradicates the kinds of critical thinking that are essential for a healthy democracy. (See “Over-testing and the ‘accountability’ dodge” for more.)

NCLB is a trainwreck that the US will still be paying for 40 years after it’s abolished. It’s time for Ted and his co-conspirators in the War on Education to shut up, step off and stand down. They’re not the solution – they’re the problem.

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