A TEMPEST OVER NATIONAL TESTING

THE PUBLIC LIKES A WHITE HOUSE PLAN TO TEST GRADE-SCHOOLERS, BUT IT'S TAKING FIRE. HERE'S WHY

The trouble with Congressional Republicans isn't that they like a good fight--it's the fights they like to pick. Time and again, most notably during the government shutdown in 1995, the Clinton Administration has beat up on G.O.P. lawmakers and in the end subjected them to painful public embarrassment. So when House Republicans forced a showdown last week with the President over his treasured plan for national math and reading tests for students--despite a White House threat to veto an entire spending bill if the testing money was not included--it seemed on the face of it that these guys were just gluttons...

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