August 7, 2007



The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is strengthening public schools in the United States and helping to ensure that every single child receives a good education. NCLB is increasing accountability for raising student achievement. The results show that many students are setting records in reading and math scores. Below is the BCSA Fact of the Week demonstrating how standards-based education reform and NCLB are working.

Fact of the Week

According to The 2007 Education Next-PEPG Survey, 57% of Americans support the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act with only minor changes and the public strongly supports reforms designed to hold individual students accountable for their performance on state tests.

Improving the performance of the K-12 education system in American public schools is necessary to provide a strong foundation for both U.S. competitiveness and for individuals to succeed in the rapidly changing global economy. These results prove the belief on which the law was founded: Every child can learn and succeed in school.

Recent News from BCSA

In response to Chairman Miller's statement on NCLB at the National Press Club on July 30th, The Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA) urged Representative George Miller, Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, to retain strong accountability measures as part of the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The coalition stands ready to work together with Representative Miller and Representative Howard McKeon, the committee's Ranking Member, on a bipartisan bill which maintains annual statewide assessments and ensures that schools and school districts are held accountable for helping all students reach proficiency in math and reading by 2014.


Other News on NCLB

What Americans Think about Their Schools. Hoover Institution.

Americans both care about their schools and want them to improve. As indicated by a new national survey of U.S. adults conducted by the Hoover Institution's Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University, the public backs reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The public also strongly supports reforms designed to hold individual students accountable for their performance on state tests.

Education Next: New National Survey Shows Majority of Americans Support Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. Business Wire.

A new national survey by the Hoover Institution's Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government finds that a majority of the public backs the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the accountability it has brought to public education. When asked for their view on the matter, 57 percent of adults suggested that Congress renew the act either as is or with minor changes, according to the poll findings. "The level of support for federal accountability legislation is even higher, if the specific words -- No Child Left Behind -- are not mentioned in the survey," reports William G. Howell, PEPG deputy director and a professor at the University of Chicago, who codirected the survey together with Paul E. Peterson of Harvard University and Martin R. West of Brown University. When NCLB is described as "federal legislation" rather than mentioned by name, as was the case for a randomly selected half the survey respondents, support for extending its accountability provisions rises to 71 percent.

'No Child' passes progress tests. Charleston Post and Courier.

A new study showing that students are spending more time on reading and math since the 2002 enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act is good news. So is another recently released study showing a general rise in academic performance over the last five years. The researchers also reported that since NCLB, "the achievement gap" between white and black students has decreased. U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings cited the study to argue: "We know the law is working, so now is the time to reauthorize… If children can't read, they can't learn history. Before No Child Left Behind, little was done to hold schools accountable for teaching our children basic, critical skills."

Diluting the No Child Law. News & Observer.

NCLB is up for reauthorization in Congress and lawmakers, including some of the law's original drafters, are talking about modifying it so that proficiency in math and reading would not be the sole standard of school performance. As attractive as these indicators might sound, they would dilute the purpose of the law to where ultimately the standards become the usual educational mush. Expanding the number of indicators would make side-by-side comparisons of school districts difficult. Testing in only the two most critical subjects has the virtue of simplicity. Broadening the law to include more subjects, graduate rates and the school curriculum marks a significantly greater intrusion. With the exception of some minor tweaking, Congress should stick with the law as is through at least another five-year cycle.


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