April 17, 2009
Contact: Anne Meyer
WASHINGTON, DC-Today the Commission on No Child Left Behind joined more than 30 partners in announcing a new effort to ensure that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $100 billion education investment yields needed reforms and significant, lasting gains in student achievement. The Coalition for Student Achievement, representing education, business, civil rights, and philanthropic organizations, will monitor implementation of the ARRA and support local, state, and federal leaders as they work to meet the law’s requirements to boost teacher effectiveness, improve academic standards and tests, upgrade data capabilities for measuring student and teacher performance, and more effectively intervene in struggling schools.
The Coalition sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urging him to push states and districts to use the funds to leverage fundamental changes to the system to ensure that all children receive an excellent education. The Coalition also recommended the Department of Education give strong, clear direction to states and districts about how to achieve and measure reforms and to develop mechanisms to make state and district progress in meeting these challenges more transparent. (To learn more about the Coalition and access its letter, visit www.coalitionforstudentachievement.org.)
In order to receive the largest funding stream under the ARRA, governors must commit to advancing a series of key reforms that are closely aligned with the Commission on No Child Left Behind’s recommendations for improving NCLB:
- Creating a robust P-16 data system that tracks individual student performance and fosters continuous improvement;
- Developing college and career-ready standards;
- Designing and implementing high-quality assessments of student learning;
- Improving teacher effectiveness and placing our best teachers in our most challenging schools; and
- Intervening effectively in chronically low-performing schools.
“The Commission believes that progress on these reforms, which mirror our recommendations for improving NCLB, is critical in setting the stage for an effective reauthorization of that law,” said director Gary Huggins.
The Commission on No Child Left Behind is a bipartisan effort to identify and build support for improvements in federal education policy to ensure the Nation has effective tools to spur academic achievement and close the achievement gap. Following a comprehensive review process with extensive public input, the Commission in 2007 released a blueprint for strengthening the landmark No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) by preserving the law’s core principles and making needed changes to accelerate progress toward achieving its goals, particularly in the areas of teacher and principal effectiveness, robust accountability and data, higher academic standards, stronger high schools, and increased options for students. The Commission will continue to advocate bold reform during the NCLB reauthorization process and consideration of related measures in pursuit of an excellent education for all children.