No love for NCLB in race for governor

Republicans and Democrats running for governor have at least one common concern. They all think the federal No Child Left Behind law is a bad deal for Minnesota schools.

All seven GOP candidates say they favor opting out of the testing and accountability requirements of NCLB, even if it means losing about $230 million a year in federal education funding. Most of the 10 DFL candidates want Congress to fix the law, while the state keeps the money.

Here’s what candidates had to say about opting out of NCLB:


Pat Anderson

“We need to get out of No Child Left Behind.”

Leslie Davis

“I don’t like the federal government to send mandates to the state of Minnesota telling us what to do.”

Tom Emmmer

“I object to the federal government having any law that tells the state of Minnesota, more importantly parents of children in the state of Minnesota, this is how your schools are going to be run.”

Bill Haas

“Under my administration, all mandates relating to education will be on the table.”

David Hann

“I don’t think that it’s right for the states to allow the federal government to dictate education policy for us.”

Phil Herwig

“Cut the ties that bind, and let’s get our kids educated, which is not happening.”

Marty Seifert

“We have not had people that have stood up to the federal government. I’m someone willing to do that.”


Tom Bakk

“I think the notion of because we don’t like some policy provisions or we don’t like some testing requirements that we’re going to pass up federal money is not very realistic.”

Mark Dayton

“I would do everything possible to urge the federal government to provide a waiver.”

Matt Entenza

“No Child Left Behind has been a disaster that is labeling all of our schools as failures when they most certainly aren’t.”

Susan Gaertner

“The less that Washington has to do with Minnesota education the better.”

Steve Kelley

The first step though is to work with the president and with Congress to change No Child Left Behind so we don’t lose the funding.”

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

“The underlying idea behind rigorous standards and accountability is the right sort of thing.”

John Marty

“I think we should be asking our congressional delegation, make sure we can get out of it without losing the funding.”

Tom Rukavina

“The federal government doesn’t give us that much money for education. They give us more mandates than money.”

R.T. Rybak

“I think the problem with No Child Left behind is it measured a very narrow part of what we need to teach our children.”

Paul Thissen

“I think it is a little bit of political rhetoric to say you’re just going to opt out, because there are consequences, including financial consequence to that.”

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