Judge Dismisses Most of No Child Left Behind Lawsuit

A federal judge dismissed most of the claims in Connecticut's challenge to the No Child Left Behind law Wednesday on jurisdictional grounds, the state's attorney general said.

Connecticut became the first state to try to block the 2002 law when it filed the lawsuit in August. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal argued that the law was unconstitutional, an unfunded federal mandate costing more than the state received in federal aid.

Judge Mark Kravitz dismissed three counts, saying state officials can't challenge the law until they have violated it, Blumenthal said.

The judge is allowing the state to proceed with a fourth claim that the U.S. Department of Education unfairly denied Connecticut's proposed amendments to testing rules, he said.

The law, the cornerstone of President Bush's education platform, requires annual standardized tests for students in grades 3 through 8, but Connecticut wants to continue its program of testing students every other year, in grades 4, 6 and 8.

"This is a jurisdictional ruling," Blumenthal said Wednesday. "Our challenge is alive and well."

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Education had asked for a dismissal of the entire lawsuit, arguing that the state understood the law when it accepted hundreds of millions of dollars in education funding.