A House Race to Watch
There are a lot of freshmen on the House Education and Labor Committee, but only one shows up on The Fix's latest list of most competitive House races: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.
The No Child Left Behind Act was one of Shea-Porter's favorite targets back in 2006, when she unseated Rep. Jeb Bradley, a Republican. (He wasn't in Congress in 2001, when the law was passed). Shea-Porter equated the law with President Bush and pledged to work to scrap it. She called it an attempt by "right-wing Republicans" to “undermine our confidence in our public schools" to create a federal private school voucher system.
Bradley is back for a rematch this year. And it will be interesting to see whether Shea-Porter tones down her rhetoric on the school improvement law, now that she's spent some time with NCLB co-author Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House education panel. (He even visited her district earlier this year to answer educators' questions about the law).
Shea-Porter's campaign Web site is in the "coming soon" stages, but the "issues" section on her congressional site offers some pretty bland "views" on education:
Investment in education is an investment in the future of American families and the middle class. A good education leads to good jobs and allows people to provide well for their families. Without a strong, accessible, affordable educational system, the middle class cannot stay strong and help our economy grow.
Definitely a departure from her earlier statements. I'm wondering if that trend will continue. And if Shea-Porter is less stridently anti-NCLB this time around, will that help her or hurt her?