Monday, August 29, 2005

Missing the point

The usually spot-on Christian Science Monitor completely missed the point in an editorial today. They dismissed the Connecticut NCLB lawsuit with this argument:

It's hard to summon up much sympathy for the money complaint. The Government Accountability Office found in 2003 that Congress was providing enough dollars for state testing. Also, NCLB compliance is voluntary.

Yes, opting out means forfeiting federal money for educating disadvantaged children. For some poor states, that's not really a choice. But many states are in better fiscal shape these days. If Connecticut, expecting a budget surplus this year, is convinced its testing method is best, it can stick with it.


What they neglect to mention is that the lawsuit is based on a Republican "Contract With America" law that clearly states that any federal mandate on the states MUST be fully funded. The question is not whether or not Connecticut can afford it or not. The question is whether or not the Department of Education is in violation of the law.

Republicans decry activist judges and insist the law be strictly enforced-- when it's convenient to their ends. Here, it's not.

Any judge strictly interpreting this law would have to side against Spellings and the Department of Education.

The Monitor missed the point.

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