The 10-year-old No Child Left Behind (NCLB) plan was supposed to help children stuck in bad public schools. The bipartisan deal that greased its passage gave liberals what they wanted, a huge increase in dollars from taxpayers. It was supposed to give conservatives a way to demand that schools push their students to become proficient in reading and math.
After a decade, it looks like NCLB proponents snookered conservatives. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan acknowledges that 80,000 of the nation's 100,000 public schools could be declared failing this fall—so he wants to dumb down the passing grade. He's like the corrupt teacher who sees 80 percent of his students fail, and gives them C's anyway. Duncan says grades of F will demoralize public-school administrators and teachers, but what about the students who are demoralized now, or will be once they graduate without adequate skills?
Olasky concludes, "The status quo is broken, the NCLB fix hasn't worked, and the alternative proposal we're hearing is: Shovel more dollars into the jaws of failure."