This week is the sixth anniversary of the signing into law No Child Left Behind, and lawmakers hope to tweak it up a bit.
With the education bill up for reauthorization, US Representative Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) says it's a great time to review the legislation and find out what works and what doesn't.
Kind is seeking insight through listening sessions with people in Western Wisconsin.
"…Getting feedback from the educators, the leadership of our schools, teachers, parents … in regards to their thoughts on the legislation."
The La Crosse Democrat says he'll take back to Washington the information he gathers from those forums.
The bill's original goal was to help identify kids who are falling behind and help them to catch up early in the game. Kind says it's not intended to be a partisan issue.
"And yet the president, I think, delivered very unhelpful comments, threatening the Congress that if he doesn't get everything that he's demanding, he's just going to veto the legislation or he's just going to do all this through executive order and just bypass the Congress. That's not the type of atmosphere that we need in order to work on an important bill in the best interest of our kids."
Kind says the whole point of the measure is to empower our kids with the tools and knowledge base they need to be able to compete in a global marketplace.
Kind says the bill needs to be revamped because of its unfunded mandate; it takes a long time to get the test results back; and, it has taken away flexibility from the schools.
Kind adds the early emphasis of reading and math is a good thing, but not while neglecting arts, physical education, and a more enriched curriculum. Even though President Bush has threatened to veto any weakened version of the bill, Kind hopes Bush keeps an open mind.
On Monday a federal appeals court revived a challenge to the funding aspect of the law.