Thank goodness for small favors. The feds are going to give us a little leeway on education:
Six states are getting the OK to write their own prescriptions for ailing schools under the Bush administration's signature education law.
It's a softening from how No Child Left Behind currently works — with schools having to take certain steps at specific times for missing math and reading testing goals. Critics have complained that the approach is too rigid and treats schools the same regardless of whether they miss the mark by a little or a lot.
The states getting more freedom under a pilot program are Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland and Ohio. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings made the announcement during a speech Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
The states that won approval have come up with plans to more closely tailor solutions to individual schools' problems and focus resources on schools in the worst shape.
Isn't that a wonderful insight, that states might be able to tailor solutions "to individual schools' problems"? But isn't that the whole point of federalism, the idea that states would be laboratories of democracy? If the problem is that No Child Left Behind made a mockery of federalism (and it did), the solution isn't to slightly exempt six states from the mess that was created.