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Business Roundtable Applauds Positive Effects of No Child Left Behind in National Student Progress Assessment

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Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? gives an account of the Business Roundtable agenda that lead to the passage of NCLB.

Washington, DC – Joseph M. Tucci, Chairman of Business Roundtable’s Education & the Workforce Task Force and President and CEO of EMC Corporation, today issued the following statement on the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend assessment scores:

“The scores released today are strong evidence of the positive effects of No Child Left Behind and standards-based reform efforts in the states. The substantial narrowing of the achievement gap reflected in the scores is especially encouraging, and shows what is possible when we make a commitment to help every child from every neighborhood succeed in reading and mathematics.

“These results are a testament to the hard work of students and teachers, and reflect positively on the bipartisan work of the President and the Congress on behalf of greater accountability and higher achievement in our schools,” said Tucci.

The NAEP scores show gains among nine-year-olds in reading, following what has been widely seen as an intensive focus on improving early reading. There were also significant gains in closing the achievement gap in reading for African-American and Hispanic students. In addition to the improvements in reading, the NAEP data show significant improvement and closing of the achievement gap in mathematics among nine- and thirteen-year-olds. Math scores among 17-year-olds remained flat. U.S. high school students have consistently fared poorly in international mathematics comparisons; on a recent assessment of the math problem-solving skills of 15-year-olds, the U.S. had the smallest percentage of top performers and the highest percentage of low performers of any participating developed country.

“We’re seeing the payoff of the focus on raising achievement in early grades, but we need to expand that same level of intensity to later grades. We are not making the progress we need as students move to middle and high school where they need to comprehend and solve more complex material,” continued Tucci. “Whether we are looking through the lens of individual opportunity for our students, the competitive prospects of our businesses, or the economic security of our country, it is clear that we need to make and sustain a national commitment to improving achievement in reading, science, technology, engineering and mathematics as students progress through their education.

“These NAEP scores show us that substantial progress can be achieved. They also remind us of how much work lies ahead. It is critically important to build on the momentum reflected in today's announcement,” he added.

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Business Roundtable (www.businessroundtable.org) is an association of chief executive officers of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees and $4 trillion in annual revenues. The chief executives are committed to advocating public policies that foster vigorous economic growth, a dynamic global economy, and a well-trained and productive U.S. workforce essential for future competitiveness.

— Press Release
Business Roundtable


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