USDE's Luce Claims Spellings Is Tough On NCLB Compliance -- And May Get Tougher

Over the weekend, the USDE's Tom Luce said that the Department has been tougher with states about NCLB compliance than had been reported, and might even get tougher. But was he just blowing smoke?

Appearing at a luncheon for education reporters in New Orleans on Saturday, Luce (formerly of Just For The Kids) said that the current administration not only had already fined several states for noncompliance with NCLB -- more than any previous administration -- but also that other unspecified sanctions might be in the works.

You may see more consequences" said Luce in response to a question from USAT's Richard Whitmire. The fines come out of the SEA setaside for NCLB, which is 1 percent of the total that the state receives. I'm still working on getting the amounts and states inovolved.

Not suprisingly, Luce predicted few major changes during the NCLB reauthorization process, or before that. "It's not going anywhere," he said several times in response to questions from reporters suggesting that NCLB is on the verge of collapse. (More about the reporters' questions to come.)

Luce also said some things that were harder to believe, like that there isn't any more testing being done now than before NCLB, and that the testing industry is fully capable of handling the annual testing burden of NCLB.

Last but not least, Luce predicted that national standards and testing was not going to be proposed by the Bush administration and was not going to happen while he was at the USDE. He declined to answer what his personal opinion was on the matter.


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