USDE Goes Old School -- Slams California For Not Providing Enough NCLB Choice

I felt like I had travelled back in time to 2003 or so when I heard Thursday's NPR segment on the current showdown between California and the USDE over NCLB (California Schools Could Lose Aid over 'No Child' Law).

They're fighting over NCLB choice, of all things -- just like back in the day when folks like Gene Hickock and Nina Rees were making it sound states and districts give more than lip service to the NCLB transfer requirement.

It's not an acid flashback, however. According to the NPR story, the Department has issued a letter to the state (PDF) about its failure to provide enough choice and giving it until August 15th to come up with a plan for the new year. Playing the old Hickock/Rees role, the USDE's Chris Doherty (pictured) talks tough.

Maybe someone else can make better sense of it, but it had seemed to me like the USDE had -- maybe even before Spellings arrived -- pretty much given up on enforcing NCLB choice. Not much seemed to have changed as recently this spring, when Spellings announced the SES "flip"(see What About Choice?), and many were lamenting the situation (see The Decline Of Choice). As I wrote in April, the lack of NCLB choice plays right into the hands of voucher advocates.

So what I want to know is are they going after other states about lack of choice -- I'm told they haven't -- and what prompted the action now? Was it the threat of lawsuits, a fit of self-improvement, or what? More to come.


Post a Comment

<< Home