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Voices from the Field 

With the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) up for reauthorization, parents, educators, experts and concerned citizens are speaking up in support of No Child Left Behind. Third in the series of voices from the field, this week's quote highlights how the standards set under NCLB are helping to raise student achievement.

Robin Chait
Senior Education Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress
“Why do we need NCLB to be reauthorized now? Because it is beginning to work. Data from the National Assessment for Educational Progress demonstrate achievement gains since its enactment. All of the states have developed standards and assessments in reading and mathematics. But most importantly, states, districts, and schools are being held accountable for the achievement of all students. Because NCLB requires student achievement data to be disaggregated by subgroup, we can no longer mask the achievement of some students.”


NCLB on the Road

SpellingsU.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon continue to tour the states, highlighting the education achievements of each. This week, Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon visited several states as well to promote NCLB's statewide success. You can track their travels by clicking here.

  • Virginia: Strengthening accountability to improve education
    Secretary Spellings and Michel Zajur, president of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, hosted an education policy roundtable with Rep. Bobby Scott, educators and business leaders at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Secretary Spellings highlighted Virginia's contributions to the accountability effort and noted its progress toward No Child Left Behind goals. Read more in the Daily Press >>
  • Indiana: Successfully reaching Adequate Yearly Progress goals
    Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon today in Indianapolis praised the hard work of students and educators in raising state test scores and meeting Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind. Read more in the Indianapolis Star >>
  • Maryland: Continuing to make progress toward NCLB goals
    Deputy Secretary of Education Simon visited Annapolis High School and participated in an education policy roundtable discussion with state Superintendent Nancy Grasmick and local superintendents from across the state. Simon discussed progress toward No Child Left Behind goals in Maryland and challenges for the year ahead. Read more in the Baltimore Sun >>

Latest News

U.S. to Require States to Use a Single School Dropout Formula
Moving to sweep away the tangle of inaccurate state data that has obscured the severity of the nation’s high school dropout crisis, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will require all states to use one federal formula to calculate graduation and dropout rates, Bush administration officials said on Monday. Read more in The New York Times >>

AT&T CEO says hard to find skilled U.S. workers
The head of the top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc said it was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from India. "We're having trouble finding the numbers that we need with the skills that are required to do these jobs," AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told a business group in San Antonio, where the company's headquarters is located.
Read more from Reuters >> 
No Child law fixes: Don't leave them behind
In an op-ed in the Washington Business Journal, Stacey Childress and Grossman argue that, "It is regrettable that Congress will not reauthorize the No Child Left Behind education law this year. Though many educators and politicians want the law to disappear, focusing on its flaws rather than its fundamental benefits is shortsighted. Without reauthorization, our public school students will continue to suffer from a performance management system that is only half-baked."
Read more in the Washington Business Journal >> 
Districts show closing achievement gap is possible
In his essay earlier this month, retired Iowa State University professor Bill Posten describes closing the achievement gap as "chasing something that can never be caught" and claims that "the causes of the gap are largely out of the realm of control of schools."In spite of tremendous evidence to the contrary, Posten continues to cling to a myth that a disadvantaged family background provides an insurmountable obstacle in a child's education. Thousands of schools across the country - including districts in Iowa - are proving him wrong.
Read more in the Des Moines Register >>
Secretary Spellings Announces Department's Move to a Uniform Graduation Rate
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced she will take administrative steps to ensure all states use the same formula to calculate how many students graduate from high school on time, and how many drop out. Secretary Spellings stated the data would be made public so that people nationwide can compare how students of every race, background, and income level are performing. The Secretary made the announcement during remarks on the need for a more comprehensive and precise definition of "graduation rate" at a press conference hosted by America's Promise Alliance and State Farm on the Alliance's dropout prevention campaign.
Editorial: Indiana schools making progress toward NCLB goals
Progress is being made to reach the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Herald Bulletin’s editorial bulletin writes, “The goals of No Child Left Behind are admirable, and we encourage teachers, administrators and, just as importantly, parents, to keep moving in the direction of bringing up the reading and math standards of our students.”
Read more in the Herald Bulletin >>
Achievement gap can be closed
A Harvard lecturer who has studied racial achievement gaps for more than a decade showed last night how life outside school affects academic performance and argued that the achievement gap can be closed. Ronald Ferguson, an economist and director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard spoke to parents, teachers and administrators at Brien McMahon High School's Center for Global Studies.
Read more in The Stamford Advocate >>


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