May 23, 2007- New York Times, “New York Eighth Graders Show Gains in Reading ”
The number of eighth graders reading at grade level or above in New York State climbed impressively this year for the first time since 1999, when the state adopted tougher educational standards and its modern testing system, according to scores released yesterday from the annual statewide English exam… The sharp increase in the proportion of eighth graders reading at or above grade level statewide, to 57 percent from 49.3 percent, provided a first spark of hope that school districts were beginning to turn around a long record of academic failure in middle school. Scores also improved in the sixth and seventh grades though more modestly.
May 22, 2007- U.S Department of Education, “Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks at Manhattan Institute Education Conference”
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings spoke at the Manhattan Institute Education Reform Conference, discussing the reauthorization of NCLB. Spellings stated, "we all know that reading and math are requisite gateways to learning other subjects, and we are seeing more and more evidence of that," pointing to recently revealed results that students are improving in history and civics to argue against the case that NCLB's focus on reading and math is detrimental to other subjects. She again referred to the reauthorization of NCLB as a "moral responsibility" and listed the reasons why it is an important law to renew.
May 19, 2007- Arkansas Democrat Gazette, “History makes a comeback --What does 1776 plus 1066 add up to?”
Every silver lining has a dark cloud. But the gains are cause for hope. Especially for those of us who think history is pretty darned important. Even, yes, fascinating. And if there are more kids reaching the Basic level in the 4th Grade this year, then there could be even more who'll do better than Basic when they get into the 8th and 12th Grades a few years from now. Especially if, somewhere along the way, a special history teacher is able to make that light come on behind the eyes.
In any case, at least fewer children are being left behind these days.
May 14, 2007- The Politico, "National epidemic, economic necessity"
This week, educators, policymakers and business leaders are convening in Washington for the National Summit on America’s Silent Epidemic to find ways to solve this crisis. They understand that doing so is not just a moral imperative. It’s an economic necessity. The United States has the most severe income gap between high school graduates and dropouts in the world.
May 7, 2007 – Business Week, Richard S. Dunham, “Business Gets Behind ‘No Child’”
Executives say the 2001 law – which toughens standards in primary and middle schools, mandates annual tests, and holds states accountable for underachieving schools--is essential to providing math and science skills needed to keep the U.S. competitive.