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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. Fifth in the series of voices from the field, this week’s quote highlights how NCLB has helped Georgia improve its education system.

Martha Reichrath, Ph.D.
Deputy Superintendent, Georgia Department of Education
“The state, students and parents of Georgia have benefited from this tremendous legislation that came our way. We would not be where we are today without education accountability the excellence that NCLB has granted to us. Best practices have begun to be shared because of this law. This has truly glued us together. We cannot stop this momentum; we need NCLB to be reauthorized this year. Our competitive edge and our students depend on it.”


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. You can track their state-by-state tour by clicking here.

Latest News

On April 1, Secretary Spellings announced a uniform graduation rate by which all states must use the same formula to calculate how many students graduate from high school on time as well as the number of dropouts. Here are several news articles and editorial support for the new measure to address the dropout crisis in the U.S.:

  • “U.S. to require states to use single dropout formula,” New York Times
  • “States to face uniform rules on grad data,” Education Week
  • Editorial: “Counting graduates,” Baltimore Sun
  • Editorial: “Who’s a dropout?” Los Angeles Times
  • BCSA’s statement of support

Left behind: the missing debate over schools and accountability
On March 18th Margaret Spellings, the secretary of education, announced a pilot reform to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), George Bush's education law, which was passed in 2002. Up to ten states, she said, would be allowed to target their resources at the most severely struggling schools, rather than at the vast number needing improvement. The change… was a reminder of utter inaction elsewhere.
Read more in The Economist >>
McCain makes education priority
John McCain has new take on education: He’s now concerned with disparities in the level of education for inner cities. He said our education system is “one of the great injustices remaining in America.” In a town hall meeting in Westport, Conn., McCain was asked how he ranked the importance of education. “I give it the highest priority. And I believe education, we all know, is probably one of the most unsavory aspects, or, let me put it this way, one of the great injustices remaining in America is our educational system,” he said.
Read more on CBS News >>
U.S. student writing gets a bit better
American students are slowly getting better at crafting sentences and using the written word to persuade and explain. That's the good news in the latest results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), which on Thursday released its 2007 writing results, the first time eighth- and 12th-graders were tested in the subject since 2002.
Read more in the Christian Science Monitor >>
A good grade for Teach for America
What makes a good teacher? Experience helps. But a new study of Teach for America (TFA) – education's version of the Peace Corps – shows that their novice high school teachers bring something to the classroom that trumps traditional training and experience. The advantage of having a TFA teacher is particularly strong in math and science, the study finds.
Read more in the Christian Science Monitor >>
‘Things Can’t Go Back’
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has had the thankless task of being the primary spokesman for No Child Left Behind. But her commitment has never wavered
Read more in Newsweek >>

Editorial Coverage

No Reform Left Behind
States should be encouraged to innovate. It's important, though, that any new rules not compromise the core principles of a law that has done much to address inequities in educational opportunity.
Read more in The Washington Post >>
Minding King’s words
An editorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination examines how NCLB is working to address the achievement gap: “NCLB creates a standard of accountability while acknowledging that all children can learn, all children can achieve at a higher level, if given the tools to do it regardless of their skin color. Recent results reveal that NCLB is working and the achievement gap between white and black students is in fact narrowing.”
Read more in the Washington Times >>
5 Myths About No Child Left Behind
Chester E. Finn Jr., a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, outlines five myths that have derailed the NCLB from focusing on core issues and principles of the education reform law.
Read more in The Washington Post >>
Back to School
In Congress' debate over reauthorization of the law, no one is saying that educating every child will be easy, but that must remain the goal. How best to achieve it is a puzzle from which the nation must not turn away.
Read more in the Houston Chronicle >>

Help Iowa aim high—set rigorous standards
Without rigorous state education standards for what students should know and be able to do, some of Iowa's 364 school districts won't aim as high as others - shortchanging youngsters who need to be better prepared than ever to compete in the 21century. Iowa put state education standards in place to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Read more in the Des Moines Register >>

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