One senses mounting desperation among the more vociferous opponents of No Child Left Behind. Consider, for example, the "protest songs" unveiled at the National Education Association's recent convention. What fun for all concerned. What a trip. Oh, for the heady days of revolution, when music could change the world! (Though in the descent from Joan Baez to Lily Eskelsen's effort, with its unforgettable refrain of "If we have to test their butts off, there'll be no child's behind left," we detect a marked deterioration in lyric quality. As we didn't hear her croon it, we can't compare their vocalizations.) Now, the Los Angeles Times reports that humor has become another weapon in the anti-NCLB arsenal, though we doubt Rod Paige is quaking in his boots as a result of such efforts as "No School Budget Left for the Mind." (Truly hysterical, you will doubtless agree.) Better still, some educators have recently tried to connect some dots and concluded: it's a conspiracy! A coalition of Massachusetts school administrators "said emphatically that the current system is designed to fail nearly every public school in America, no matter how good it is. 'I don't think this was an accident,' said Phillip F. Flaherty, assistant director of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association. 'This (No Child Left Behind) was written by very, very gifted, very bright people.'" Of course, Mr. Flaherty, of course. Why don't you come down off that ledge and we'll talk some more?
"Humor not left behind in attacks on Bush law," by Erika Hayasaki, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2004
"Fed law designed to fail, say educators," by Steve Urbon, Dartmouth Standard-Times, July 11, 2004
"No Child Left Behind has teachers singing protest songs," by Greg Toppo, USA Today, July 6, 2004