The Bush administration appears to be taking the position that the current law is better than the confused mess that Miller is proposing and Miller doesn't like that.
Miller's Edweek piece bemoans the fact that there exists some current loopholes in the current version of NCLB that need to be closed. His current proposal aims to close those loopholes. That's a good thing with which few would disagree. But, Miller fails to mention that his proposal opens up a slew of new loopholes that suburban school districts will use to drive a truck through, making a mockery out of NCLB's accountability scheme, albeit a flawed scheme. It's these new loopholes that are putting the kibosh on Miller's dream of reauthorization.
By the end of the piece, it gets so bad that Miller actually shoots himself in the foot while trying to spin his crappy proposal:
What we need is a smarter system of accountability. For example, our discussion draft would allow states to assess school performance on more than just reading and math tests. All over the country, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders believe we should be measuring schools more fairly and comprehensively. I agree with them. If we keep a strong focus on student progress in reading and math, but also allow additional indicators to play a role, we can have a richer, better understanding of what’s really happening inside our schools.
In the first sentence Miller answers his own question why his proposal isn't likely to be adopted. It's not smart. It's dumb and kowtows to special interests.
Then he gives us one good example of why his proposal isn't a "smarter system of accountability." Under Miller's proposal, schools can use "additional indicators" in addition to math and reading scores. The catch is that these indicators can only help a school, not count against it. It won't take long for schools to devise some subjective "indicator" that allows them to skirt accountability. Some might call this a loophole. A large loophole.
Miller is taking away loopholes with one hand, and giving us a slew of new ones with the other. The net result is less accountability. And, that's why even the lefty editors of many big Newspapers have turned against him.
Update: Super-blogger Alexander Russo is jealous that he sold his independence for a paycheck and is now under Edweek's corporate jackboot.
Update II: Sherman Dorn piles on. I point out in the comments that Sherman has a glass house problem. Actually, he has two of them.
Update III: Fat cat labor-monopolist, Leo Casey, engages in a little substance-free name calling over at Edwize will trying to dismiss my argument. Nice try, Leo.