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U. S. Department of Education & ABC Radio Launch Education Campaign to Help Close the Achievement Gap

Secretary of Education Rod Paige today announced a new partnership with ABC Radio Networks to help inform the African American community about the historic No Child Left Behind Act through a new national radio campaign entitled, "Closing the Educational Achievement Gap."

"We have an education emergency in the United States of America," Paige said. "Nationally, blacks score lower on reading and math tests than their white peers. But it doesn't have to be that way. We need to collectively focus our attention on this problem -- all children can learn. We have to make sure that every single child gets our best attention. We also need to help African American parents understand how this historic new education law can specifically help them and their children. For this reason, we have formed a partnership with ABC Radio Networks' Urban Advantage Network to help inform parents that their child can get the best education possible. The No Child Left Behind Act is the tool to make that happen."

The historic, bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act allows parents to take charge of their child's education by asking questions, getting real answers and making changes in their children's education. As part of the campaign, all 240 of ABC Radio's Urban Advantage Network affiliates will air detailed messages about bridging the achievement gap between African American students and other students of different ethnic backgrounds. In addition, the messages will give tips to parents informing them on what steps to take to ensure that their child is not left behind. The spots will feature Secretary Paige in a 30-second message emphasizing the importance of this problem and how parents may be eligible for free, government-sponsored tutoring or other extra help.

"The 'Closing the Educational Achievement Gap' campaign is a step in the right direction to help inform the African American community about their right to a quality education," ABC Radio Networks President Traug Keller said. "We are pleased to be working with the U.S. Education Department and we anticipate a positive outcome during this national campaign."

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to eliminating the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority children and their peers. To achieve this goal, No Child Left Behind requires schools to monitor the performance of various subgroups of their students, including African Americans, Hispanics and low-income students. Each subgroup must be making adequate yearly progress (as defined by the state) toward the goal of 100 percent proficiency on state standards in math and reading by the 2013-2014 school year.

"ABC's Urban Advantage Network can be heard by 93 percent of all African Americans every week, making it the perfect medium to provide vital information to the community," said Kevin Miller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of ABC Radio Networks. "Urban consumers are loyal listeners who seek and receive a connection with the community through urban radio personalities such as Tom Joyner and Doug Banks."

Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which President Bush signed in January 2002, states and school districts will develop strong systems of accountability based upon student performance. The new law also gives states and school districts increased local control and flexibility, removing federal red tape and bureaucracy and putting decision making in the hands of those at the local and state levels. Parents of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will have options under the new law to participate in public school choice programs or obtain supplemental services such as tutoring. Also, teachers around the country will be encouraged to use teaching methods based upon scientific research that show they have been proven to work.

Education Department, ABC Radio Networks Launch Education Campaign to Help Close the Achievement Gap
U. S. Department of Education Press Release


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