One of my favorite writers on education, Diane Ravitch, recently had an op-ed published in the New York Times about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. What’s interesting in her take on this is to look at part of NCLB’s failure as a failure in how federalism should work. Her suggestion is to make the federal role one of defining a common base of information that the states can use in how they run their own school systems. If states want to adopt the millenarian Second Coming approach to education, they could do it on their own, but without being able to blame the federal government.