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Child Left Behind Unable To Add

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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LEARNING IS ITS OWN REWARD A reader I was shocked the first time on the Democratic campaign trail when a strong denunciation of No Child Left Behind—the federal guidelines enacted in 2002 that demand that schools meet state-set test achievements to receive federal money—turned out to be the biggest applause line of the night. (This may be less of a surprise to people who know any children.) Whether it was coming from Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, who, by the way, often dismissed the law in nearly identical harsh terms, Democrat-filled audiences of all classes would just erupt into cheers. But there's one American who loves No Child! It's the wonderful Margaret Spellings, our Secretary of Education, who is traveling the country talking to hostile teachers and administrators. Most notably: She seems incredibly over-impressed that first-grade students in Kentucky can nearly calculate change for a dollar. "These are not people who are sitting around whining about No Child Left Behind," is what Spelling told the Times after. "These are people who are hard at work." Heh. Isn't the twilight of the Bush administration neat?

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