FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jennifer Handt
Business Leaders Oppose Efforts to Undermine No Child Left Behind
Coalition Says Legislation Could End Progress in Education Seen Under Law
Washington, DC – The Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA), representing business leaders from every sector of the U.S. economy, today expressed disappointment about legislation introduced yesterday by Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) and by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The coalition said that it recognizes that the legislation’s cosponsors are concerned about our children’s education, but it believes that if enacted, this bill would abruptly end the progress made since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act.
“NCLB is working,” said Arthur J. Rothkopf, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in testimony on behalf of the BCSA this week at a bi-cameral hearing on NCLB. “All of America’s nine-year-olds made more progress in reading in the five years since NCLB was enacted than in the previous 28 years combined. And reading and math scores for African American and Hispanic nine-year-olds, and math scores for African American and Hispanic
13-year-olds, have reached an all-time high.
“There still is a long way to go, but we cannot afford to turn back to the days when gaps in achievement among our children were widening, not narrowing,” he continued. “Poor education performance threatens the future of our children and America’s competitive position in the world.”
“Not only is No Child Left Behind helping students, it also represents the first real accountability for the billions in federal tax dollars that Americans spend on education each and every year,” added Business Roundtable President John J. Castellani. “As business leaders and major employers, we recognize the importance of investing in education, but the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that state and local recipients are producing results.”
The BCSA will work with Congress to make certain that schools have adequate flexibility in the implementation of the law while also remaining accountable for raising the academic achievement of all students.
Castellani added, “During the coming months, there will be many proposals put forward to revise No Child Left Behind. We urge Members of Congress to carefully consider whether these ideas move America in the right direction at a time when knowledge and skills are the world’s most highly valued commodities.”
For more information about the Business Coalition for Student Achievement, visit biz4achievement.org.
The Business Coalition for Student Achievement – representing business leaders from every sector of the economy – is committed to supporting policies that improve the performance of the K-12 education system in the United States. The Coalition is co-chaired by Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of Intel; Arthur F. Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc.; and Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm, and is coordinated by Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.