Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2006 Issue »

    Why Connecticut Sued the Federal Government over No Child Left Behind

    Richard Blumenthal
    In April 2005, Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal filed the first lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education over the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In this essay, Attorney General Blumenthal presents Connecticut’s reasons for legally challenging NCLB. He argues that prior to ratification of the act, Connecticut had been nationally recognized for its assessment program aimed at closing the achievement gap and increasing accountability. NCLB mandates that require testing at all grade levels would force Connecticut to replace its formative assessments with summative assessments and divert their limited educational funds from supplementary educational programs to the expansion of the state’s testing office. Blumenthal argues that NCLB’s unfunded testing mandates are illegal and may prove detrimental to Connecticut students’ academic achievement. While he strongly supports the goals of NCLB, Blumenthal concludes that if schools are to achieve those goals, it is imperative that the federal government allow for flexibility and assume financial responsibility for implementation of NCLB.

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    Richard Blumenthal will begin serving his fifth term as attorney general for the State of Connecticut in January 2007. Blumenthal served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987, and in the Connecticut State Senate from 1987 to 1990.
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    Winter 2006 Issue

    Abstracts

    Foreword (full text)
    Senator Edward M. Kennedy
    Introduction to Assessing NCLB (full text)
    The Editors
    No Child Left Behind
    The Ongoing Movement for Public Education Reform
    Rod Paige
    From New Deal to No Deal
    No Child Left Behind and the Devolution of Responsibility for Equal Opportunity
    Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe
    Will NCLB Improve or Harm Public Education?
    John W. Borkowski and Maree Sneed
    Domesticating a Revolution
    No Child Left Behind Reforms and State Administrative Response
    Gail L. Sunderman and Gary Orfield
    Real Improvement for Real Students
    Test Smarter, Serve Better
    Betty J. Sternberg
    Why Connecticut Sued the Federal Government over No Child Left Behind
    Richard Blumenthal
    Getting Ruby a Quality Public Education
    Forty-Two Years of Building the Demand for Quality Public Schools through Parental and Public Involvement
    Arnold F. Fege
    Accountability without Angst?
    Public Opinion and No Child Left Behind
    Frederick M. Hess
    Forces of Accountability?
    The Power of Poor Parents in NCLB
    John Rogers
    No Child Left Behind and High School Reform
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Troubling Images of Teaching in No Child Left Behind
    Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan Lytle
    High School Students’ Perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act’s Definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher
    Veronica Garcia, with Wilhemina Agbemakplido, Hanan Abdella, Oscar Lopez Jr., and Rashida T. Registe