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ERIC Number: ED520383
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep-5
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
End It, Don't Mend It: What to Do with No Child Left Behind. Policy Analysis. No. 599
McCluskey, Neal; Coulson, Andrew J.
Cato Institute
The looming expiration of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has prompted a flood of commission reports, studies, and punditry. Virtually all of those analyses have assumed that the law should and will be reauthorized, disagreeing only over how it should be revised. They have accepted the law's premises without argument: that government-imposed standards and bureaucratic "accountability" are effective mechanisms for improving American education and that Congress should be involved in their implementation. In this paper, the authors put those preconceptions under a microscope and subject NCLB to a thorough review. They explore its effectiveness to date and ask whether its core principles are sound. They find that No Child Left Behind has been ineffective in achieving its intended goals, has had negative unintended consequences, is incompatible with policies that do work, is at the mercy of a political process that can only worsen its prospects, and is based on premises that are fundamentally flawed. They further conclude that NCLB oversteps the federal government's constitutional limits--treading on a responsibility that, by law and tradition, is reserved to the states and the people. The authors therefore recommend that NCLB not be reauthorized and that the federal government return to its constitutional bounds by ending its involvement in elementary and secondary education. Studies of Private versus Government Provision of Education are appended. (Contains 5 figures and 51 notes.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cato Institute
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress