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Is NCLB Doomed?


In the April issue of Governing, Donald F. Kettl, right, says that "[President] Bush's original version of NCLB seems doomed."

Kettl recounts the ironies of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that NCLB is an unfunded mandate. The court relied on language originally inserted by Republicans to side with the liberal National Education Association. I made similar points when the court issued its opinion back in January.

Kettl concludes that the court's decision presents a dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats.

The right may have to pony up a lot more cash to keep faith with the unfunded mandate provision or else back away from what it touts as a major legislative success. At a time when there is going to be precious little money for discretionary domestic programs, the left will have to find a new way of holding local schools accountable while inevitably providing them with far less money than they want.

Doesn't sound like an easy task for the current Congress or any other. But does that mean NCLB is doomed?

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