No Child Left Behind: The Dangers of Centralized Education Policy

Jennifer Leischer

Lawrence A. Uzzell, Cato Institute
May 2005

This policy analysis was the centerpiece of a symposium at Cato this week (get audio here) that also featured our own Checker Finn, as well as Nina Rees from the Department of Education and Margaret Dayton, the Utah legislator who led that state's NCLB revolt. Uzzell declares that the No Child Left Behind act entices schools, districts, and states to cover up their problems, misrepresent their academic and demographic data, and encourage cheating and gaming of the system. Rather than continuing down the current doomed path, Uzzell advocates removing state and federal "control" of schools and placing power at the local level, especially with parents via - yup, you guessed it - healthy free market competition. No big surprises, considering the publisher. But it's a bit ironic that, after classifying NCLB as an "ideological strain that is novel for Republican presidents: utopianism," Uzzell's recommendations suffer from the same syndrome. To read for yourself, surf here.

"Dayton claims NCLB is immoral," by Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune, June 1, 2005

"Local support lacking for NCLB," by George Archibald, Washington Times, June 1, 2005

More By Author