September 18, 2007
BUSINESS COALITION FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND:
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has been working to increase accountability in schools, narrow the achievement gap and ensure that every single child receives high-quality education to meet grade-level proficiency. The Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA) is a member of NCLB Works!, a broad coalition of business, education, community and civil rights groups working to support efforts to strengthen and reauthorize NCLB. These diverse groups share the common belief that this law has been instrumental in focusing our nation on improving academic achievement for all students.
A discussion draft of NCLB has been released and is available on the Web site of the House Committee on Education and Labor. To read the draft document and summaries, please go to the House Committee on Education and Labor NCLB Home page by clicking here.
BCSA will post its comments on the discussion draft on the BCSA Web site, http://biz4achievement.org/. We will send out notification when the comments are available for review.
NCLB Works! Members Participate in House Committee Hearing on Draft Bill
Nearly all members of NCLB Works! testified at the House Committee on Education and Labor hearing on the draft bill, held on September 10, 2007. Representatives from the NCLB Works! highlighted how NCLB has been working to increase student achievement and urged Congress to strengthen, not dilute, the law. The representatives included:
John Castellani’s testimony will be available for review on the BCSA Web site shortly. To watch archived footage and view the witnesses’ testimonies, please click here.
IN THE NEWS
“The Good and Bad of NCLB,” Washington Times, September 13, 2007
As Congress debates the complexities of reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act, a proposal from Rep. George Miller, California Democrat, runs the risk of watering down the intent and spirit of the program, which both Republicans and Democrats agree should be renewed before its expiration Sept. 30. Members on both sides of the aisle considering the revamping of NCLB would do well to look at the success of D.C., where a voucher program has allowed thousands of students to escape failing public schools for private or charter schools under grants and laws authorized by Congress. Studies have indicated parents are happy with the program, their children are performing better and student bodies are more diverse and integrated because of it.
“What’s Good for Children,” New York Times, September 12, 2007
America’s business community was an early advocate of reform and a prime mover in the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, which required the states to improve public schooling for all students. With Congress gearing up to reauthorize the act, business leaders are rightly raising their voices in an attempt to prevent the teachers’ unions and their political allies from weakening this important law. The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives from the nation’s largest companies, spoke out forcefully this week. At a House hearing, the Roundtable’s president, John Castellani, cited troubling provisions in a draft reauthorization bill that would allow schools to mask failure in teaching crucial subjects like reading and math by giving them credit for student performance in other subjects or on alternate measures of performance.
“Teachers and Rights Groups Oppose Education Measure,” New York Times, September 11, 2007
Dianne M. Piché, executive director of the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, said the bill had “the potential to set back accountability by years, if not decades,” and would lead to lower standards for children in urban and high poverty schools.
“Leaving No Child Behind,” Washington Post, September 10, 2007
With House hearings on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act beginning today, The Post asked educators, lawmakers and others for their views of the legislation and what might improve it. Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, said, “While we continue to press for closing the achievement gap and preparing all students for the real-world challenges of college and career, the federal law must maintain a laser-like focus on ensuring that all students are proficient in reading and math.”
“Save School Standards,” Washington Post, September 10, 2007
Congress should resist attempts to water down the No Child Left Behind law. The debate on No Child Left Behind begins in earnest this week, and the outcome will be determined by one fundamental question: Does this country want to make schools better -- or just make schools look better? If Congress is true to the noble idea that all children, no matter their races, family incomes or circumstances, can learn to read and do math, it must reject suggestions that make a charade of standards and accountability.
For more information, visit http://biz4achievement.org/