To the Editor:
As the country ushers out President Bush, who has been abandoned by Republicans and pilloried by Democrats, we should remember that America’s most recent “education president” proposed the most sweeping changes to our national education policies that the country had ever seen. Our next president should reaffirm the principles of the No Child Left Behind Act and once again make education a national priority.
President Bush and his current secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, stand on the brink of irrelevance. Yet, as Secretary Spellings is leaving, she has bequeathed a road map that our subsequent president should follow (“Spellings Creates Education Index,” Federal File, Sept. 17, 2008).
We must continue to make student achievement, and particularly filling in the gaps in achievement between our “haves” and “have-nots,” a top priority. Further, we should insist upon national standards that assure the country that a youngster in Louisiana is being measured with the same yardstick as a student in Connecticut or California.
Despite its flaws, No Child Left Behind has raised the public’s consciousness in its insistence that each child is important. We should not now shirk our responsibilities and allow our education system to drift amidst lowered expectations.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2008 edition of Education Week as Despite Its Flaws, NCLB Has Raised Expectations