September 7, 2006

Brazenly flouting the law...

From a piece in OpinionJournal, Four Million Children Left Behind:

LOS ANGELES--This city is the main front in the pitched battle over the No Child Left Behind Act. Like many large urban school districts across the nation--though more brazenly--the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is resisting the law's core command: that no child be forced to attend a failing school.

In LAUSD, there are over 300,000 children in schools the state has declared failing under NCLB's requirements for adequate yearly progress. Under the law, such children must be provided opportunities to transfer to better-performing schools within the district. To date, fewer than two out of every 1,000 eligible children have transferred--much lower even than the paltry 1% transfer figure nationwide. In neighboring Compton, whose schools are a disaster, the number of families transferring their children to better schools is a whopping zero.

The question is whether Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings--whose administration has made NCLB the centerpiece of its education agenda--will do anything about it. She has the power to withhold federal funds from districts that fail to comply with NCLB, and has threatened to do just that. Rhetoric, so far, has exceeded action.

In L.A., the district has squelched school choice for children in failing schools by evading deadlines for notifying families of their transfer options; burying information in bureaucratese; and encouraging families to accept after-school supplemental services (often provided by the same district employees who fail to get the job done during the regular school day) rather than transfers. Still, the district insists that the reason for the low transfer numbers is that parents don't want their kids to leave failing schools....

Please Ms Spellings, have a spine. Grow one. The real "Axis of Evil" around here is the incestuous relationship of the teacher's unions, education bureaucrats, and the Democrat Party. Evil. They are destroying children to preserve their power. Poor children---the affluent have choices.

NCLB was designed to smash this filthy monster, but someone has to take the heat and enforce the law.

(Thanks to Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at September 7, 2006 9:25 AM
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