Federal

As NCLB Turns 5, Washington Outlines Ways to Change It

By Lynn Olson & David J. Hoff — January 09, 2007 2 min read

The fifth anniversary of the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act had more to do with its future than its past.

In a series of events across Washington on Jan. 8, Bush administration officials and lawmakers started to outline their ideas of how to revise the law, addressing the need to improve teacher quality, find ways to turn around struggling schools, and establish challenging standards that define what students should know and be able to do.

At a White House meeting, President Bush met with the leaders of Congress’ education committees, covering all of those issues and others, including whether the law has adequate funding behind it.

“We made our case that the legislation clearly needs additional resources to be successful,” Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said in a news conference after the White House meeting. “I do not believe we can accomplish [reauthorization] without additional funding.”

Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings outlined several important changes she and others in the Bush administration want Congress to make as it revisits the law, which is scheduled to be reauthorized this year.

Ms. Spellings said the law has been successful in spawning academic improvements in elementary schools, and said she would like to see its emphasis on testing and accountability extended further into high schools. The law currently requires states to assess students in grades 3-8 and at least once in high school.

“We need more accountability, more measurement,” she said in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s headquarters. “We need to broaden our accountability with additional subjects. It’s absolutely critical that we focus on high schools this year.”

National Standards

Also on Monday, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., the second-ranking majority member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and a potential presidential contender, and Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, R-Mich., introduced a bill that would provide incentives for states to adopt voluntary national education standards in mathematics and science, to be developed by the governing board for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

A few days earlier, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the new chairman of that committee, introduced a bill that would encourage states to benchmark their own standards and tests to NAEP, often known as the “nation’s report card,” but would stop short of developing national education standards. Both bills would give states incentives to increase the rigor of their standards, rather than mandate national standards. Secretary Spellings said she would support efforts such as Sen. Kennedy’s that would provide states with incentives to independently adopt challenging standards.

“Any time there’s a carrot approach as opposed to a stick for raising the bar, that will be well received,” Ms. Spellings said at the White House news conference.

Earlier in the day, in a speech commemorating the law’s anniversary, she said she would not support anything that would give her or her agency control over the content of such standards. “I’m not sure people want me to be the person setting standards for their schools,” she said.

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Federal Biden Legal Team Steps Back From Trump Stance on Transgender Female Sports Participation
The Education Department's office for civil rights pulls a letter that said Connecticut's transgender-inclusive policy violates Title IX.
4 min read
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn on Feb. 7, 2019. Transgender athletes are getting an ally in the White House next week as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports. Attorneys on both sides say they expect President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education will switch sides in legal battles that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by how they identify.
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in an event in New Haven, Conn. The two transgender athletes are at the center of a legal fight in Connecticut over the participation of transgender female athletes in girls' or women's sports.
Pat Eaton-Robb/AP
Federal Congress Again Tries to Pass Eagles Act, Focused on School Shootings After Parkland
A group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers is once again trying to get a law passed aimed at preventing school violence.
Devoun Cetoute & Carli Teproff
2 min read
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Some Districts Extend Paid Leave Policies as They Hope for Passage of Biden Relief Plan
With federal provisions having expired, some school employees have had to dip into their own banks of leave for COVID-19 purposes.
5 min read
Linda Davila-Macal, a seventh grade reading teacher at BL Garza Middle School in Edinburg, Texas, works from her virtual classroom at her home on Aug. 31, 2020.
A teacher leads a virtual classroom from her home.
Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP
Federal President Biden Is Walking a 'Careful Tightrope' When It Comes to School Reopenings
CDC guidance and confusion over his rhetoric turn up the pressure, and could overshadow progress in schools and nuanced public opinion.
9 min read
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event at Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Feb. 16, 2021.
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event in Milwaukee earlier this month.
Evan Vucci/AP