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The Senate hearings on NCLB are being live-streamed right now. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chair of the HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee) quoted New York principal Carol Burris, as follows, from the article she published on Valerie Strauss’ Answer Sheet:
This is what Senator Alexander quoted:
As we engage in the debate on the issue of how to fix NCLB, I ask that your committee remember that the American public school system was built on the belief that local communities cherish their children and have the right and responsibility, within sensible limits, to determine how they are schooled.
While the federal government has a very special role in ensuring that our students do not experience discrimination based on who they are or what their disability may be, Congress is not a National School Board.
Although our locally elected school boards may not be perfect, they represent one of the purest forms of democracy we have. Bad ideas in the small do damage in the small and are easily corrected. Bad ideas at the federal level result in massive failure and are far harder to fix.