July 10, 2007


Recent News from BCSA

The Business Coalition for Student Achievement – representing a diverse coalition of business leaders from every sector of the economy – strongly urges Congress to reauthorize and strengthen the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act this year. The Coalition believes that improving the performance of the K-12 education system in the United States is necessary to provide a strong foundation for both U.S. competitiveness and for individuals to succeed in our rapidly changing world.

Recent News from BCSA

Since 2002, NCLB has been working to raise student achievement and strengthen accountability all across the country—from New Jersey to Illinois to California.

Below are snapshots of success stories that show how NCLB is helping to transform America’s education system. Experience is the best teacher, and sharing best practices and proven strategies can help continue the effort of using high standards and quality data to further support academic growth in America’s schools.

Philip G. Vroom Elementary School: A Shift to Focus on the Curriculum and the Real Issues of Student Learning Helped Achieve Success

Philip G. Vroom School, located in Bayonne, N.J., had been plagued for many years with low achievement scores. In response to the recognized deficiencies in language arts and math programs, an aggressive team approach was developed to ensure academic success for all. The school collaborated with parents, teachers and the community to develop a personalized education system for their students through instruction focused on individual needs, rather than a uniform curriculum. Subdividing the class enabled teachers to think about the variation in students’ needs, while still ensuring focus on high level tasks. This system also allowed common grade level planning periods where teachers could discuss not only grade level concerns and goals, but also regularly examine concerns and issues pertinent to standards in accordance with state curriculum guidelines. This system helped the school win the NJ Business Coalition for Educational Excellence Just for the Kids award in 2005, and be recognized as a NJ Benchmark School and NJ Governor’s School of Excellence in 2006.

Ralph Bunche Elementary: High Expectations and Professional Vigilance Lead to High Achievement and Closing Gaps

Ralph Bunche Elementary School, located in Carson, CA., is committed to a culture of high achievement, high expectations and accountability. The principal, staff, parents and students at Ralph Bunche have committed to a college bound mentality and every classroom room is named and decorated after a college. There is also a clear focus on establishing clear standards in every classroom. Based upon student achievement data, the curriculum is modified or augmented to meet the state’s standards. Teachers use the scores to assess students’ progress and their teaching. This system has helped the school reduce the achievement gaps between White/African American and White/Hispanic students in math over 50 percent and 25 percent in reading since 2002.

Kellman Elementary School:  State Standards Played a Pivotal Role in Enhancing the Curriculum and Teacher Involvement

Kellman Elementary School, located in the largest school district in Chicago, IL, has leveraged the Illinois Learning Standards to form the basis for school goals, drive instruction and structure activities and assessments at all grade levels.  The standards have helped teachers develop an instructional framework for lessons and chart their students’ progress in meeting each standard. Associated activities and lesson ideas are available on a website, making them easily accessible and useful to teachers. Additionally, to help facilitate teacher understanding of the state’s standards, Kellman has offered multiple school improvement staff development days focusing on standards and activities. Moreover, “kid friendly” versions of the standards are available, which helps students get a clear sense of what they will be learning throughout the week. These methods have helped reduce the achievement gap by 35 percent since 2001.

These are just a few of the successful schools that are achieving success under No Child Left Behind. More success stories to come!

Recent News Clips about NCLB

Help Hispanics do better in school, Miami Herald

Schools Move Toward Following Students' Yearly Progress on Tests, New York Times

Modifying No Child Left Behind: Help high schools, too, The Philadelphia Inquirer

'No Child' in the Crosshairs; Congress should be talking about strengthening, not abandoning, the federal school accountability law, Washington Post


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