Thompson criticizes No Child Left Behind: AP

GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson says No Child Left Behind isn’t working and would work to make changes if elected, according to an Associated Press wire story.

The former Tennessee senator and NBC “Law & Order” actor told citizens in Jacksonville, Florida during a stop on a bus tour that if it were up to him, he would provide federal dollars with no strings attached.

An excerpt:

He added that there are problems with Bush’s No Child Left Behind program, which requires annual testing and punishes schools that don’t make progress.

“No Child Left Behind ā€” good concept, I’m all for testing ā€” but it seems like now some of these states are teaching to the test and kind of making it so that everybody does well on the test ā€” you can’t really tell that everybody’s doing that well. And it’s not objective,” Thompson said.

Instead, he said the federal government should be providing block grants as long as states set up objective testing programs.

He said his message to states would be, “We expect you to get objective testing done and publicize those tests for the local parents and for the local citizens and suffer the political ramifications locally if things don’t work out right.”

Block grants…now he’s talking my talk (by the way, black grants are something I support, but only if it includes the disbanding of the U.S. Dept. of Education). But can he walk the walk?

Another excerpt:

He told her decisions on how schools are run should be made by local and state decisions, not dictated out of Washington.Thompson voted for the No Child Left Behind law in 2001, as did most of his fellow senators.

“It’s your responsibility,” he said. “If you don’t like what’s going on, don’t get in your car and drive by your school board and maybe drive by the capitol and get on an airplane and fly to Washington and say, ‘I don’t like the way the school down the street is being run.'”

Hmmm…this bears watching.

E.C. šŸ™‚

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