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NCLB Outrages

Secretary Spellings Highlights Success and Importance of No Child Left Behind Act:Perspectives on the Law Offered by Education Leaders, Educators and Advocates

In case you need a reminder of who's really in charge. The following news release has been posted to http://www.businessroundtable.org .

Press Release

Washington, D.C.Γ’€”The Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA), representing business leaders from every sector of the economy, yesterday hosted an event about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. The Secretary's remarks highlighted her commitment to supporting schools that need help the most and the need to retain accountability for educating every child to grade-level standards in reading and math, the gateway subjects for all other learning.

Arthur F. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. and co-chair of BCSA, moderated the event that included remarks by Representative George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and Representative Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, ranking member of the Committee. Representatives Miller and McKeon both thanked the business community for its efforts in education reform and discussed their legislative priorities for reauthorization. Eduardo Cancino, Superintendent of Hidalgo Independent School District, Hidalgo, Texas, Ronald E. Jackson, Executive Director, Citizens for Better Schools, Birmingham, Ala. and Ricki Sabia, Associate Director, National Down Syndrome Society Policy Center, each gave vivid examples about the success that NCLB is having at the local level to raise student achievement and increase accountability in America's public schools.

"The business community, as a primary consumer of the U.S. education system, is well aware that today's global economy requires students to graduate from high school prepared for college, work and citizenship. The No Child Left Behind Act is working and student achievement is moving in the right direction," said Ryan. "We must build upon its basic tenets Γ’€“ accountability, rigor and a focus on improving schools that need help. We urge Congress to strengthen and reauthorize this vital legislation."

BCSA is committed to working with all stakeholders, including legislators, educators, parents and students, to ensure that a strengthened NCLB is reauthorized this year. The coalition believes that NCLB has been instrumental in focusing the nation on improving academic achievement for all students, and that the results are encouraging.

"There still is a long way to go, but we cannot afford to turn back to the days when gaps in achievement among our children were widening, not narrowing," said John J. Castellani, President of Business Roundtable. "Poor educational performance threatens the future of our children and America's competitive position in the world."

"America's business owners, managers and leaders know that having a highly skilled and well educated workforce is the only way our nation and our workers will be able to remain successful in an increasingly competitive global economy," said Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Arthur Rothkopf. "NCLB is working, and Congress can't afford to wait any longer to strengthen and reauthorize this critical program. The time to act is now and the Chamber and our broad membership and coalitions are mobilizing to make that imperative clear."

The Business Coalition for Student Achievement Γ’€“ representing business leaders from every sector of the economy Γ’€“ is committed to supporting policies that improve the performance of the K-12 education system in the United States. The Coalition is co-chaired by Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of Intel; Arthur F. Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc.; and Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm, and is coordinated by Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Business Roundtable (www.businessroundtable.org) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with $4.5 trillion in annual revenues and more than 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and represent over 40 percent of all corporate income taxes paid. Collectively, they returned $112 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy in 2005.

Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with $90 billion in annual research and development spending - nearly half of the total private R&D spending in the U.S.

— Press Release
Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA)


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