Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings must be breathing more easily now that a federal judge has dismissed the last of four claims in Connecticut's lawsuit challenging the federal No Child Left Behind law. Spellings got word of the judge's ruling late Monday and immediately issued a statement through a spokesperson: "Secretary Spellings is delighted with the judge's decision," which she called "a resounding victory for children and their families."
The lawsuit has been a thorn in Spellings's side since 2005, when Connecticut became the first state to challenge the law's testing requirements. The 2002 law requires students to meet annual proficiency targets in reading and math, and states that fall short can be penalized. Connecticut education officials argued that the law was unconstitutional because it didn't come with enough funds for the state to cover the costs of annual testing. But the judge who dismissed the lawsuit said the state had failed to show how the law placed an unfair financial burden on it.
With the lawsuit out of the way, Spellings can now focus on other matters, like building her own Facebook page. Her staff has been coy about addressing the rumor, which has been making its way through the blogosphere. But if it's true that the nation's top education official is harnessing the power of the popular social networking site, it could serve to counter some of her fiercest critics, some of whom are already there. (One group is called "Get Rid of Margaret Spellings.")