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American Federation of Teachers Statement on Allowing States More Flexibility in Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act

To: National Desk

Contact: AFT Public Affairs, 202-879-4458 WASHINGTON, April 7 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by Edward J. McElroy, President, American Federation of Teachers, on allowing states more flexibility in implementing the No Child Left Behind Act:

We applaud today's announcement by Secretary Margaret Spellings that the U.S. Department of Education is working to address several of the issues we have raised concerning the No Child Left Behind Act.

The decision to allow more students with disabilities to take alternative assessments, for example, will help make the law's accountability system fairer and more accurate. The addition of funds to improve assessments, although far short of what is needed, will provide at least some help for states seeking to get a better measure of student achievement. Also important is the department's recognition that we need to examine alternative ways of measuring student progress-a step the AFT has long advocated.

Today's announcement is a small step forward and a welcome acknowledgment that the law has serious flaws which must be addressed if we really want to leave no child behind. But more work needs to be done. We look forward to working with the Education Department to address other areas of concern to our members.


The AFT represents 1.3 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; nurses and healthcare workers; and federal, state and local government employees.

— Press Release
AFT Public Affairs


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