WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 — The draft House bill to renew the federal No Child Left Behind law came under sharp attack on Monday from civil rights groups and the nation’s largest teachers unions, the latest sign of how difficult it may be for Congress to pass the law this fall.
At a marathon hearing of the House Education Committee, legislators heard from an array of civil rights groups, including the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, the National Urban League, the Center for American Progress and Achieve Inc., a group that works with states to raise academic standards.
All protested that a proposal in the bill for a pilot program that would allow districts to devise their own measures of student progress, rather than using statewide tests, would gut the law’s intent of demanding that schools teach all children, regardless of poverty, race or other factors, to the same standard.
Dianne M. Piché, executive director of the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, said the bill had “the potential to set back accountability by years, if not decades,” and would lead to lower standards for children in urban and high poverty schools.
“It strikes me as not unlike allowing my teenage son and his friends to score their own driver’s license tests,” Ms. Piché said, adding, “We’ll have one set of standards for the Bronx and one for Westchester County, one for Baltimore and one for Bethesda.” ...
This from the New York Times.