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Kennedy Listens to NCLB's Liberal Critics


Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is reaching out to some of NCLB's fiercest critics.

As I reported in the current issue of Education Week, the chairman of the Senate education committee met with the leaders of the national teacher's unions. Now, author Jonathan Kozol posts an open letter describing his meeting with Sen. Kennedy. (Link courtesy of Alexander Russo's This Week in Washington.)

In Mr. Kozol's recounting of the Dec. 5 meeting, Sen. Kennedy was receptive to the liberal author's criticisms of the law. In particular, Mr. Kozol says, they talked about NCLB's testing requirements (which Mr. Kozol calls "punitive and demoralizing") and the lack of opportunity for students to transfer out of their districts. Mr. Kozol, who has been on what he calls a partial hunger strike, outlined the rest of his ideas in a seven-page letter to the senator.

Mr. Kozol reports he's optimistic that Sen. Kennedy is open to big changes to NCLB. That would be a dramatic shift. Although President Bush takes credit for NCLB's testing-and-accountability rules, they never would have passed Congress if Sen. Kennedy hadn't agreed with him.

There's more to come. Mr. Kozol writes that he's scheduled to meet with the senator again in January.


A partial hunger strike? What exactly is that? Sounds like a euphemism for a diet.

Tis the season to be jolly,
but as 2008 looms on the horizon,
many schools and parents of children
attending Title I - NCLB Schools
are not aware that as this is the
6th year of the NCLB Act that if
a school has the status of
"restructuring implementation"
that the school can be closed
and opened as a Charter School,
or the entire staff can be replaced
and the goverance of the school

Yes, 2008 is a heavy political year
but it is also the Year of Change
for Education as we know it and
that is often unstated and unknown
to parents and educators all over
the world.

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