U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today made the following statement regarding the No Child Left Behind Act of 2007, introduced by Senator Gregg and Senator Burr:
"Five years ago with No Child Left Behind, we shifted our national education dialogue from how much we are spending to how much children are learning. Today, we need a new conversation about how to strengthen and improve this law.
"Thanks to NCLB, we've made tremendous progress in helping more and more students get the education they deserve. Numerous independent reports confirm that students are improving, and the long-standing achievement gap has begun to close. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2007 is a great start as we work to build on the progress we've made, and I applaud Senators Burr and Gregg for introducing it.
"This new act retains the solid foundation we've laid and incorporates lessons we've learned in the last five years. Now that we've identified struggling students and schools, we can provide them with the extra tools and resources they need to get back on track. We can give educators more credit for student improvement and give principals and superintendents more resources to reinvent chronically underperforming schools. Thanks to annual assessments and the abundance of data we now have on student performance, we can give states and schools more flexibility without sacrificing accountability for results.
"Students and families are counting on us to prepare our next generation to seize the opportunities of today's global economy, and they don't have time to wait. By reauthorizing the law this year, we can provide them with the tools and flexibility they need now. In my travels around the country, I've seen many schools that are proving that our 2014 goal is reachable. I look forward to working with Congress to use the wisdom we've gained to ensure every student has the knowledge and skills to succeed. The NCLB Act of 2007 strikes a strong balance between preserving the fundamental accountability that is helping students improve, and responding to legitimate concerns raised by parents and educators."
SOURCE: US Dept. of Education