Include Nancy Kassebaum Baker among those critical of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates annual testing and achievement gains. The former Kansas senator said at a Kansas University Women’s Club scholarship fundraiser in Lawrence last weekend that she wouldn’t have voted for NCLB, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. One reason was that she knew it would be an underfunded mandate. She also believes that, in the long run, standardized testing isn’t going to solve the nation’s education problems. She said parents and teachers need to instill children with a respect for learning, rather than focusing so much on doing well on tests.
Kassebaum — whose son, former Rep. Bill Kassebaum, R-Burdick, led a revolt in 2004 to get more money for schools, then was targeted for defeat by anti-tax groups and lost a close re-election race in the GOP primary — also said that state lawmakers may need to raise taxes to pay for increased education. “It’s a tough issue, a divisive issue,” she said. “I’d rather raise some taxes, because you can’t do it with smoke and mirrors.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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