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PoliGraph: Entenza wrong on Emmer's education record

False image.GIFBy Catharine Richert

DFL hopeful Matt Entenza says he'll pull Minnesota out of No Child Left Behind if he's governor - and that his Republican opponent, Tom Emmer, won't.

"George Bush's No Child Left Behind is hurting our kids," states a voice over in a recent Entenza television ad. "Tom Emmer supports Bush's failed policy."

In fact, Emmer's never been a fan of the controversial testing program.

The Evidence

Entenza's campaign says Emmer voted against a plan to drop NCLB in 2008. And at first blush, it would seem that way.

But parliamentary maneuvering on the House floor muddied the intent of the amendment Emmer voted against. It didn't just end NCLB; it contained other unrelated provisions.

In early 2009, Emmer co-sponsored a bill that would have prevented implementation of No Child Left Behind.

Later that year, Emmer told Minnesota Public Radio that he opposes NCLB.

"I object to the federal government having any law that tells the state of Minnesota, more importantly parents of children in the state of Minnesota, this is how your schools are going to be run," he said on Dec. 11, 2009.

Emmer supports holding teachers accountable, spokesman Bill Walsh said. He just doesn't think the federal government should tell the state how to do it.

The Verdict

Emmer has made clear that he's opposed to NCLB. Notwithstanding the vote against the muddied House floor amendment, Entenza's claim is false.


Matt Entenza for Governor, education television ad, accessed Aug. 3, 2010

Minnesota Public Radio News, Interview with Tom Emmer, Dec. 11, 2009

Minnesota Public Radio News, Votetracker: Withdraw from No Child Left Behind, accessed Aug. 2, 2010

Minnesota Public Radio News, No love for NCLB in race for governor, by Tim Pugmire, Dec. 11, 2009

Minnesota House of Representatives, House File 614, accessed Aug. 3, 10

Minnesota House of Representatives, Journal of the House, April 28, 2008

Interview, Bill Walsh, spokesman, Tom Emmer, Aug. 3, 2010

Interview, Jeremy Drucker, spokesman, Matt Entenza, Aug. 2, 2010

Interview David Strom, research director, Tom Emmer, Aug. 3, 2010

PoliGraph is a regular series of reports that checks the veracity of politicians' claims. It is a collaboration between Minnesota Public Radio News and the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

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