December 12th, 2006 06:09 EST
Secretary Spellings Highlights Free Tutoring for Los Angeles Children Under NCLB
Discusses ways to ensure that parents are aware of free tutoring program at Noble Avenue Elementary; highlights importance of helping children earn a college degree at Town Hall Los Angeles
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, accompanied by Rep. Buck McKeon, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David Brewer, today visited Noble Avenue Elementary School to raise awareness of free tutoring available to students in Los Angeles and cities all over the nation. Secretary Spellings toured classrooms, met with students and held a roundtable with state and local education leaders to discuss ways to better inform parents about Supplemental Educational Services (SES), which include free tutoring for eligible students under No Child Left Behind, and to ensure that school districts are working with SES providers to make certain that eligible students get the services they need.
"The goal of No Child Left Behind is to make sure that every student in America is reading and doing math at grade level by 2014. That is especially important in cities like Los Angeles," Secretary Spellings said. "When it comes to getting students enrolled in free tutoring, Noble Avenue Elementary is a shining example for others to follow. These programs help children achieve academic success and prepare for great lives."
Noble Avenue Elementary is a Title I, PreK-5th public elementary school with an enrollment of 1,420 students. A large majority of the students are Hispanic and nearly 96 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, 51 percent of the students participate in Supplemental Educational Services.
The U.S. Department of Education will meet with district and state officials, parents and SES providers, as well as hold roundtable discussions in 13 other cities around the country-from Providence, R.I. to Albuquerque, N.M.- to discuss how best to collaborate on getting children the tutoring available to them and the most effective ways to implement SES. (See list of cities below.)
During the Secretary's luncheon remarks at Town Hall Los Angeles in Los Angeles, she talked about the importance of reauthorizing No Child Left Behind and the need to make higher education more affordable, accountable and accessible to all Americans. Both, she said, are critical to our students and our country's future. Town Hall Los Angeles is one of the top 10 executive speaker forums in the nation, and the only one of that group in Southern California. The goal of Town Hall Los Angeles is to expose the community to new points of view through a vigorous exchange of ideas.
Last year, Secretary Spellings created the Commission on the Future of Higher Education to develop a comprehensive strategy for postsecondary education that will meet the needs of America's diverse population and also address the economic and workforce needs of the country's future. In September, the Commission provided its final report to the Secretary and she quickly acted on the recommendations with her higher education action plan - calling for, among other items, making college more affordable and simplifying the financial aid process, better preparing students by ensuring that high school curriculum is aligned with college level work, and demanding the same transparency from higher education that we expect from almost every other area of government.
"Our aim," Secretary Spellings added, "is simply to ensure that in a new era of global competition, higher education remains the path to the American dream and that more Americans have access to it."
To read Secretary Spellings' remarks from Town Hall Los Angeles, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2006/12/12112006.html