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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Bush wants Congress to renew No Child Left Behind, but after five years there's little consensus on education reform. How well is it working? What's needed to make it better? We hear a variety of different points of view. Also, an update on the wildfires burning throughout southern California.


Banner image: Secretary of Education Spellings speaks with chemistry teacher Erin Strimple Barker at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Producers:
Dan Konecky
Karen Radziner
Frances Anderton

Main Topic Time to Reform No Child Left Behind? 33 MIN, 25 SEC

No Child Left Behind is called President Bush's crowning domestic achievement, and it passed five years ago with support from liberal Democrats in both houses of Congress.  NCLB is supposed to make every American kid "proficient" in reading and math by 2014, but after five years that sounds like a pipe dream. Proficiency standards differ wildly from state to state, and some tests are being made easier so that scores will improve. Schools that have not improved are not being held accountable and angry parents in many places have gone to court. Is it time for national standards? Are test scores the best measures? What about merit pay for teachers?

Guests:
David Hoff, Associate Editor, Education Week
Jeff Kuhner, Communications Director, Fordham Institute
Karin Chenoweth, Senior Writer, Achievement Alliance
Valarie Lewis, Principal, PS/MS 124
Monty Neill, Co-Executive Director, FairTest Coalition

Making News Update on the Wildfires in Malibu and San Diego 15 MIN, 29 SEC

Fires continue to rage in seven Southern California counties -- from Ventura to the Mexican border. With his microphone buffeted by winds in Malibu, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged that there had been tens of thousands of acres burned, several homes destroyed and dry conditions that make it very difficult to get the fires under control. Fire officials and civic leaders have urged those who've been asked to evacuate to comply in order to allow firefighters to concentrate efforts on combating the fires, rather than to try to rescue trapped residents. We speak with a journalist who lives in Malibu and get a brief overview of what's happening elsewhere in Southern California.

Guests:
Kim Devore, Staff Writer, Malibu Times
Mark Jackson, Meteorologist-in-Charge, National Weather Service's LA Forecast Office

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