Statement of Reps. Boehner & Miller on Secretary Spellings' Announcement on No Child Left Behind
Ohanian Comment: When democratic politicos worry that Spellings might be encouraging states to be too loosey-goosey, you know you're in trouble.
With too much leeway, opponents of No Child Left Behind will lobby the Secretary to act outside of the bounds of this law. We read her remarks today as a refusal to grant such wide latitude, and we hope our reading is accurate. The law must be implemented fairly and evenly across the states if it is going to continue to succeed and make a difference in children’s lives.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and George Miller (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today in response to a speech by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on the No Child Left Behind Act. Boehner is the Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Miller is the committee's senior Democrat.
We want to thank Secretary Spellings for recognizing the importance of reaching out to the states and helping them make the No Child Left Behind Act a success. Flexibility - applied consistently and fairly among the states - will quell a good deal of the controversy that surrounds the law and bring huge benefits to America's schools and students.
As the Secretary pointed out today, states and cities have reported a great deal of progress in their schools. Many children who were not given adequate time and attention in the classroom prior to NCLB's enactment - such as some special education students - are now receiving that much-needed time and attention.
These critical gains will continue only if the integrity of the law is maintained. The law is built on a foundation of annual assessments, data reporting by subgroups, and a high-quality teacher in every classroom, all aimed at narrowing and ultimately closing the achievement gap among students.
Today, the Secretary unveiled an approach that, if carried out fairly and without favoritism, could help iron out some of the difficulties in implementing the law. We agree with her that every effort must be made to ensure smooth and effective implementation, but we firmly believe that the effort must be based on the law as it is written, not on a smorgasbord of different waivers for different states and districts. In many respects, what's good for a student in Ohio should also be good for a student in California, or anywhere else in the country.
If the law is implemented with too much variety from state to state, the progress we are making on boosting achievement and improving accountability will be cut short. We cannot allow our students to pay this price. It is imperative that the Department assess flexibility requests evenly, objectively, and fairly. We believe this is achievable under the law and we urge the Secretary to make it a priority.
With too much leeway, opponents of No Child Left Behind will lobby the Secretary to act outside of the bounds of this law. We read her remarks today as a refusal to grant such wide latitude, and we hope our reading is accurate. The law must be implemented fairly and evenly across the states if it is going to continue to succeed and make a difference in children's lives.
Committee on Education and the Workforce
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES