One day before the sixth anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings today discussed this landmark education law at Horace Greeley Elementary School in Chicago. As the 2007 Nation's Report Card shows, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is helping raise achievement for all kinds of children, in all kinds of schools, in every part of the country. Students are achieving record success, with minority students, poor students, and students with disabilities reaching all-time highs in a number of areas. As a result, the achievement gap is beginning to close.
The results achieved by students at Horace Greeley prove that with high expectations and dedication, we can meet the goal of NCLB and help every student reach grade level or above. Horace Greeley was recently named a NCLB-Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, an honor given to schools that are academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. Most of the students at Horace Greeley come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and many speak English as a second language. Yet test scores are soaring – from 2003 to 2007, student proficiency in reading increased 25 points to 76 percent, while student proficiency in math rose 26 points to 85 percent.
The Nation's Report Card, released this fall, shows across-the-board improvement in 4th and 8th grade reading and math nationwide.
In reading, scores for 4th graders were the highest on record.
·In math, scores for 4th and 8th graders were the highest on record.
African-American and Hispanic students are making significant progress, posting all-time highs in a number of categories.
In 4th grade reading, the achievement gap between white and African-American students is at an all-time low.
In math, 4th and 8th grade African-American students achieved their highest scores to date.
In 4th grade reading and in 4th and 8th grade math, Hispanic students set new achievement records. In reading, Hispanic 8th graders matched their all-time high.
During The Past Six Years, We Have Seen That No Child Left Behind Is Working, And Now It Is Time To Make This Law Even Stronger
The President has sent Congress several proposals to help strengthen NCLB:
We need to increase flexibility for States and districts to help them turn around struggling schools. The President has proposed to let States and districts tailor interventions to each school and to measure individual students' achievement growth over time.
We need to empower parents with more choices. The President has proposed allowing eligible students to transfer out of low-performing schools to private or out-of-district public schools or receive intensive tutoring.
We need to increase support for struggling students and underperforming schools. The President has proposed helping more students take advantage of NCLB's free tutoring by ensuring that districts notify parents when their children are eligible and by requiring school districts to use the full Federal funds set aside for tutoring and school choice.
We need to reward our best teachers and encourage good instructors to take jobs in underperforming schools. The President has proposed increasing our investment in the Teacher Incentive Fund to reward teachers for success in raising student achievement in low-income schools.
We need to make sure our children graduate prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. The President has proposed increasing accountability in our high schools, expanding access to Advanced Placement courses, and strengthening math and science education. His Adjunct Teacher Corps would allow math and science professionals to bring real-life experience to the classroom as part-time teachers.
Unless Congress moves forward with reauthorization in the coming months, President Bush will ask the Department of Education to begin strengthening No Child Left Behind through administrative steps. Members ofCongress have had nearly a year to consider the Administration's proposals. Secretary Spellings will also continue discussing these important issues with our partners at the State and local levels.
In the meantime, the Administration will do everything it can to help Members of Congress pass bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2001, President Bush worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass NCLB. The reauthorization of this bipartisan law is one of the President's top priorities and an area in which he believes both parties can work together to build on NCLB's success, expand opportunity for Americans of all backgrounds, and provide all our children with the quality education they deserve.