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No Child Left Behind—the President's education reform—gets mixed reviews; some members of Congress are hoping to make some changes.  On this archived, Labor Day edition of To the Point, we take another look at the pros and cons—before Congress comes back to debate what needs to be done. Also, Congress returns to Washington and, on Reporter's Notebook, labor unions sue to block new federal regulations on illegal workers.

****This program will not air live on KCRW as it will be preempted by Labor Day music programming.  It will be available archived online.

Main Topic No Child Left Behind: Is It Passing or Failing?

When Congress reconvenes, it's scheduled to take up renewal of President Bush's signature education reform, No Child Left Behind.  Accountability was supposed to come from tests in reading and math, with the threat of sanctions against schools where scores didn't improve. But since we broadcast this program in January, the issues have not changed. Congressman George Miller and others want to allow states to use more than just annual tests to rate schools.  The California Democrat would also provide for testing some students with limited English skills in their native languages. Has NCLB leveled the playing field for all kids, regardless of where they come from? Has accountability raised the level of student performance? Has testing become the end of--instead of just the beginning--of quality education? We assess how NCLB is working at a couple of target schools.

Stephen Rochelle, Principal at Orville Wright Middle School
Vince Carbino, Principal at Santee Learning Complex
Michael Petrilli, Thomas Fordham Foundation (@MichaelPetrilli)
Paul Cummins, Executive Director of New Visions Foundation

Reporter's Notebook The Union Movement and Immigrant Workers

Tomorrow, the Department of Homeland Security wants to begin a crackdown on the undocumented workers who are often called a threat to America's home-grown labor force. But legal opposition came from what sounds like an unlikely place. The DHS will be notifying employers they have to fire workers who can't clear up problems with social security numbers within 90 days after receiving what are called "no match" letters. Organized labor has filed suit to prevent the program from going into effect. We hear more from Ana Avendano, who directs the Immigrant Worker Program at the AFL-CIO, and Tyche Hendricks, who writes on immigration and Latino affairs for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ana Avendano, Director of the AFL-CIO's Immigrant Worker Program
Tyche Hendricks, Staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle

Making News Congress Returns to Washington

The summer recess is over and Congress is due back in Washington tomorrow. In addition to Iraq, which tops everybody’s agenda, Roll Call magazine has predicted a number of "perfect storms" on Capitol Hill.  Steven Dennis joins us from there.

Steven Dennis, Bloomberg (@StevenTDennis)


Warren Olney

Karen Radziner

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