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CONTACT: Kirk Monroe
NCLB Works! – New Coalition Launches Breakthrough Campaign
Diverse organizations come together to support fundamental principles that must guide reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act
Washington, DC – A coalition of business, education, community and civil rights groups today launched a campaign – NCLB Works! – and released a statement of eight principles that all of the groups believe must guide the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Act this year. The campaign will first target the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions which are now drafting changes to the legislation.
The coalition believes that NCLB has been instrumental in focusing the nation on improving academic achievement for all students and that the results are encouraging. Coalition members include Business Coalition for Student Achievement, Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, The Education Trust, The LINKS, Inc., National Center for Educational Accountability and National Council of La Raza. Though each of the coalition members has more detailed recommendations for NCLB’s reauthorization, they have come together in support of these eight key points. The coalition’s statement follows and additional information on the NCLB Works! Campaign can be found at www.nclbworks.org.
“The fact that diverse organizations have come together with a common bottom line for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act is a testament to the law’s importance to our country,” said Susan Traiman, Director of Education and Workforce Policy for the Business Roundtable.
“The business community is proud to join with education and civil rights leaders to highlight how the No Child Left Behind Act has worked and identify ways to strengthen it to prepare students for an increasingly competitive workplace,” said Jacque Johnson, Executive Director for the Education & Workforce Development Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“NCLB sets high expectations for all groups of students and must continue to insist that ‘all’ really means all. We must not backtrack on helping English Language Learners graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and work,” said Raul Gonzalez, Senior Legislative Director at the National Council of La Raza.
“We are seeing the positive impact under NCLB of using student achievement data to identify effective practices and to diagnose where students need help to achieve proficiency in reading and math,” said Tom Lindsley, Director of National Center for Educational Accountability’s Washington Office. “We are finding evidence that high expectations combined with best practices will lead to higher student achievement among the most challenging student populations.”
“NCLB must continue to focus on ensuring that all students are taught by qualified and effective teachers and on empowering parents to help their children succeed in school – whether it’s data comparing schools, the opportunity to transfer to higher performing public schools or a tutor to provide academic assistance,” said Dianne Piché, Executive Director of Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights.
“There is a danger that after just five years of clearly linking federal resources with accountability for the achievement of all groups of students, Congress will create a less transparent and more complex accountability system that clouds NCLB’s focus on all groups of students being able to read and do math at grade level. This coalition is determined to make sure that we do not turn back the clock,” added Amy Wilkins, Vice President for Government Affairs and Communications for The Education Trust.
For more information about NCLB Works!, please visit www.nclbworks.org.
NCLB Works! Statement of Support
A broad coalition of business, education, community and civil rights groups working in support of efforts to strengthen and reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, share the common belief that this law has been instrumental in focusing our nation on improving academic achievement for all students.
As Congress begins consideration to renew this historic law, we urge Members to maintain and strengthen the fundamental principles and goals of NCLB, specifically: