October 30, 2007





Recent Studies on Education

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has been working to strengthen accountability in America’s public education system and raise student achievement, with the goal of ensuring that every student graduates with the ability to succeed. Recent studies examine educational policies that work, and the findings of these studies underscore the correlation between student performance in schools with the ability to succeed beyond. 

The Citizen’s Commission on Civil Rights released a study on teacher pay for performance initiatives and approaches to teacher seniority that have improved education in public schools. The report, entitled "Fresh Ideas in Teacher Bargaining: How New Agreements Help Kids," examined initiatives to enhance educational opportunities for students in multiple cities that local teachers' unions approved over the past several years. The report notes that in Boston, English language proficiency for fourth grade Black, White, Asian and Hispanic students rose after reforms were initiated in 2000. Read more… 

“The High Cost of Low Education in North Carolina,” a report by Parents for Educational Freedom and the Friedman Foundation, found that nearly one in three high school students drop out before graduating. Individuals who drop out of school on average make $10,400 less per year than those who get their high school diplomas. Read more… 

A study by the College Board, “Education Pays,” highlights the importance of access to education for all students. The study showcases the benefits, both monetary and non-monetary, of earning a college degree, but also reveals that there are significant differences in college enrollment related to ethnicity, with higher college participation rates among whites than those among blacks and Hispanics. Read more…

Recent News on NCLB

“'Achievement gap' for minorities must be eliminated,” Fresno Bee, October 21, 2007
The California Department of Education says standardized test scores vary on the basis of race, even when taking into account the economic circumstances of students. State Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell is on a mission to find out why there are such disparities in educational results in California classrooms. O'Connell said the achievement gap is unacceptable if California is going to have a quality work force, especially considering how competitive the global economy has become. "It is time that we willingly and openly discuss, examine and change this disconcerting fact," O'Connell said in a statement from his office. "We know that all groups of students can learn to high levels, so we must address those things that are holding groups of students back." 

“Education Law Must Survive,” The Buffalo News, October 21, 2007
Many lawmakers, having heard complaints from educators and parents, believe the existing law is destined to be greatly revised but that its revision will have to be postponed until after the 2008 election. Perhaps that might be for the good, and could result in an even stronger and more relevant No Child Left Behind law. Republicans and Democrats must reconcile their differences and concerns and reauthorize this law but under no circumstance should it be permitted to die.


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