It pains me to say this, but from everything I have been reading Sen.Tom Harkin's plan -- and every other plan to revise No Child Left Behind -- is destined to be the same miserable failure the original law has been.
Until politicians stop ignoring the fact that major influences on education take place outside the schoolhouse doors, no educational legislation will ever have any lasting impact.
Blaming problems in our nation's schools on "bad teachers" and teacher unions has proven to be a winning formula at the ballot box, but one that comes at a price.
The never-ending bashing of teachers and unions has devalued the public perception of classroom teachers, the very group that has offered the only protection the United States has had against the rising tide of mediocrity that threatens to engulf us.
What we need is a No Child Left Behind act that truly addresses the problems that face education and society as a whole.