No NCLB Recognizes a Basic Truth: Attitude Helps Detrmin Altitude
It is no surprise who wrote the pack of distortions below. None other than Rod Paige.
Among other things, Rod Paige pronounces: Attitude helps determine attitude. Does anybody know what this means? Do people in Denver have better attitude than those in New Orleans?
Georgia Hedrick, our esteemed cartoonist, lives in Nevada, and she guesses this op ed piece is a ploy for Nevada's electoral votes. We wonder if such pieces are appearing in all the Undecided states.
Insulting teachers seems to be a big part of the plan: before, we were apathetic, but NCLB has led us to excellence. Indeed.
Let's hope state education leaders have the moral rectitude and the guts to refute Paige.
No Child Left Behind Law Is Working Well
There's a lot of talk about the No Child Left Behind Act [editorials, Aug.16]. The Law is Topic A in the statehouse, the Classroom and faculty lounge.
We welcome the attention; it's made the performance of students in our education svstem a national topic like never before.
Parents should also be pleased.
For too long, too many of our children failed to get the attention they needed to stay on track academically. No longer. Now we focus on the best way to get all students up to grade level in the critical subjects of reading and math.
No Child Left Behind's accountability goals--set by Nevada and other states, not the federal government--now govern our expectations in the classroom. All students are measured so we can clearly see their progress. For schools to be accountable, every student must be counted. That's why it's so important for schools to encourage all students, especially those who might be falling behind academically, to take the assessment--if they don't, we will never know who needs help.
Is No Child Left Behind Law working? The answer is clearly yes. States are setting the bar higher and working harder to clear it than ever before. From Ohio to Georgia, New Mexico to North Carolina, and Maryland to Illinois, test scores are rising and the stubborn racial and ethnic 'achievement gap' is beginning to close.
Nevada is making progress, too. Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Keith Rheault hailed the state's "better than anticipated" results this summer. Only two schools in the whole state have failed to meet all of their state-set accountability goals for 3 years running. Their students will get the help they need to get back on track. But Nevadans should also note that far more schools--more than 80--earned the distinction of being called "exemplary" or "high achieving".
President Bush is providing the resources to achieve results. Since he took office, the president has increased federal support for Silver State schools by 67%.
We've more than doubled funding for economically disadvantaged children in Nevada from $33 million in 2001 to a proposed $72.5 million in 2005. The president pledged that "our schools will have greater resources to help meet the goals" of No Child Left Behind.
That's a promise we've kept. And No Child Left Behind emphasizes flexibility as well as accountability. The state, not Washington, decides where federal grants should be targeted--to help kids read, improve teacher quality or ensure safe and drug-free schools. Parents are given more information and options, such as, free homework help or transportation to another school. The law also recognizes the needs of rural school districts. While No Child Left Behind requires all teachers to be highly qualified in core academic areas, it gives teachers of multiple subjects, such as rural and middle school teachers, more leeway in meeting their goals.
To too many, The only way to measure commitment to education is in dollars and cents. Instead, we must measure educational progress bv actual results: whether students are indeed learning. No Child Left Behind recognizes a basic truth: attitude helps determine aptitude. It has encouraged a culture of achievement and excellence to take root in schools where apathy once thrived.
Before the law was passed, seven out of 10
inner-city and rural fourth-graders could not read at the most basic level. Now those at greatest risk are making the greatest gains.
No Child Left Behind is helping to ensure that our education dollar is spent wisely and on the right priorities. That benefits us all. And that's why it deserves not just our attention, but our support.
Rod Paige is U.S. Secretary of Education
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES