In The News

Editorial and Op-ed Archive October 2007

October 21, 2007 – Fresno Bee – “'Achievement gap' for minorities must be eliminated”
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."

October 21, 2007 – Buffalo News – “Education Law Must Survive”
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.

October 13, 2007 – Washington Post - “Why ‘No Child’ Was Needed”
[Before NCLB,] teachers were able to get away with such low levels of instruction because no outside assessment held them responsible for whether their students learned anything. My younger daughter, more than her sister, benefited from two trends now sweeping the country: accountability and rigorous curriculum. Because her high school adopted the International Baccalaureate curriculum, which has assessments scored by professionals outside the school she attended, my younger daughter enjoyed both a high-level curriculum and teachers who were not afraid of being held accountable. Every child deserves that.

October 11, 2007 - Post and Courier - “Save 'No Child Left Behind’”
While the No Child Left Behind Act needs some fine-tuning, it has clearly enhanced educational accountability and opportunity. Congress should fix it, not scrap it.  A study released three months ago by the bipartisan Center on Education Policy reported significant gains in student performance — and significant reductions in the "achievement gap" between white and black students — since the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002. Another CEP study released a few weeks later found that students have spent more time on reading and math during that period.  Thus, NCLB's focus on basics has produced positive results. CEP President Jack Hennings, a former Democratic congressional aide, concluded that NCLB "is clearly part of the mix of reforms whose fruit we are now seeing."   

October 10, 2007 -  North County Times - “Don't leave children or standards behind”
As President Bush attempts to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, he must preserve the law's central objective -- standards for measuring academic performance.For decades the federal government directed billions of dollars to our schools without demanding much in return. NCLB has put an end to the blank checks and fostered accountability in our schools that was long lacking.  

October 3, 2007 – Statesman Journal - “NCLB is a goal worth meeting”
The reauthorization of NCLB is currently under debate in Congress. Do we have room for improvement? Absolutely. Thanks to NCLB, the goal is clear — all students performing at or above grade level in reading and math by 2014. That’s a goal worth meeting and a stronger law will help get us there.

October 1, 2007 – Roanoke Times - “Schools move slowly ahead”
Virginia's African-American and Latino students, as well as students from economically disadvantaged households and English language learners, all showed steady growth over both the national averages, and over their 2003 and 2005 scores. Nationwide NAEP results also showed that achievement at all levels is increasing. "These results refute the false premise that increased attention to our lowest-performing students means that progress among higher achievers must be sacrificed," observed Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust. "Learning is not a zero-sum game."