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Secretary Spellings Launches Priorities for NCLB Reauthorization

PRESS RELEASES
Secretary Spellings Launches Priorities for NCLB Reauthorization

Higher Standards and Accountability, More Rigorous Coursework for High School Students, and New Options and Choices for Families

FOR RELEASE:
January 24, 2007 Contact: Katherine McLane or Chad Colby
(202) 401-1576


More Resources
Building on Results
Fact Sheets
NCLB Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today launched Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act. On the heels of the President's call in his State of the Union Address for Congress to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, which turned five this month, Spellings said, "There is no better time than this year to get the job done."

Building On Results is designed to provide additional tools to our schools and educators to help America's students read and do math at grade level by 2014. It would strengthen efforts to close the achievement gap by giving states more flexibility to measure and increase student progress; encourage rigorous coursework, particularly in math and science, in our nation's high schools; and provide new options and choices for families whose children remain in underperforming schools.

"If we let this opportunity pass us by, the loss will be felt greatest by our nation's young people—the very individuals we will be counting on to keep America globally competitive and nationally secure," Spellings said. "Congress has the ability right now to put more effective tools in the hands of families and school districts to impact student achievement."

Spellings noted that No Child Left Behind has helped create a solid foundation of accountability and produced firm data about student performance to guide our efforts. She highlighted what's working:

* More reading progress has been made by nine-year-olds in five years (1999-2004) than in the previous 28 years combined, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP);
* Math scores for fourth- and eighth-graders and nine- and 13-year-olds have reached new heights; and
* Achievement gaps in reading and math between African-American and Hispanic nine-year-olds and their white peers have fallen to all-time lows.

"In the five years that No Child Left Behind has been on the books, educators and policymakers have worked together to build the systems, train the teachers, and create a culture around the belief that all children in America can learn and achieve," Spellings said. "The government is now well-positioned to move expeditiously to invest federal dollars and inject good common sense to where it's most needed."

Spellings added that much work remains to be done.

"Students—particularly in the later grades—must be challenged to succeed, whether they are entering college or the highly competitive marketplace," she said. "The national consensus for high school reform has never been stronger.

"We owe it to our kids to keep advancing the good work we've started. Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind this year will remind them we care about whether they succeed and believe they can contribute to society through their creativity and brain power," Spellings added.

The Secretary plans to take her message on the road, beginning with stops in Chicago and Atlanta within the next week, to mobilize Americans on the grassroots level in support of reauthorization. While there, she will meet with educators who are on the front lines of implementing this important law, hear from students who are benefiting from it, and meet with community and business leaders who have a stake in ensuring that today's graduates become tomorrow's innovators.

For the full text of Building on Results, please follow this link:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/nclb/buildingonresults.html


A fact sheet is available here:
http://www.ed.gov/news/opeds/factsheets/index.html?src=gu


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— Press Release
U. S. Department of Education
2007-01-24
http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/01/01242007.html


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