D.C. Lawmakers Also Shortchanging EducationEducation
The Journal Gazette noted (“Lawmakers’ education,” Aug. 27) that underfunding education is out of step with voters’ priorities. But Washington’s just as tone-deaf as Indianapolis.
The federal No Child Left Behind law isn’t working, largely because Congress failed to match high standards with the resources required to meet them. Legislation in the House to update NCLB repeats that mistake. It shortchanges early education. It perpetuates the funding gap among school districts and the performance gap among students. It undermines teacher qualification standards and smaller classes and weakens school accountability.
Real reform means investing in early education, so kids don’t start kindergarten behind. It means real standards backed with funding to recruit and pay for the best teachers and individualized support to meet each student’s needs.
If Congress doesn’t insist on improvements, we could be right back here in 10 years wondering why the new NCLB law doesn’t work.
Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus Campaign for Children