Dean criticizes “No Child Left Behind” legislation

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(Host) Governor Howard Dean says a controversy in Bennington over a new federal education law is just the beginning of public criticism over this legislation. The “No Child Left Behind Act” – which was signed into law by President Bush in January – requires high schools to give the names and addresses of students to military recruiters, unless parents specifically object to the practice.

Dean says he opposes the new law because it takes a lot of authority away from local school boards. The governor is also concerned about a provision of the law that will require local taxpayers to boost spending in schools that fail to meet new federal standards:

(Dean) “And then, what you saw in Bennington over the issue of whether the army gets the names of the seniors without permission of the parents or not, is going to be a very small issue because those are important issues in terms of privacy. But nothing is as important to people as their wallet is. And when property taxpayers around the country find out what’s going to happen to their wallets as a result of this bill, I think that the ‘no child left behind’ bill will become the ‘every child left behind’ bill and there will be a scramble to the door to defang it.”

(Host) Dean says the centralization of federal education policies by the Bush administration will be a key issue in his upcoming campaign for president.

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