Michael Larson rightly points out Senator M. Michael Rounds’s hypocrisy on education policy. Hearing Rounds pat himself on the back for voting for an education bill by declaring that the “one-size-fits-all” No Child Left Behind was “the wrong approach and has led teachers to ‘teach to the test’” reminds Larson that Rounds failed to recognize the flaws in No Child Left Behind when he was Governor:
My beef with his statement is that he is running from his record on education and all of the sudden feels bad about something that he claimed was a good idea. Just like he hates Common Core now, but supported it when he was beginning to run for office.
…I am glad to see the talk about not over-focusing on testing and some other talk, but it would be better if the person saying it didn’t drift in the political winds. If Rounds truly sees the errs of his ways, then he should admit the mistakes and explain why things are really different now [Michael Larson, “Mike Rounds Claims to Care About Education NOW,” Taking a Left Turn in South Dakota, 2015.07.19].
My fellow teachers and I saw that No Child Left Behind was a bad idea from the start, but then-Governor Rounds ignored our concerns and treated No Child Left Behind as a feather for his cap. His embrace of NCLB turned me from a Republican to a Democrat. Now Rounds himself discards that part of his legacy, which means that, like his D.C. colleagues John Thune and Kristi Noem, he has no legacy other than raising money and winning elections for his party.