Federal Federal File

Colorado Voices

By David J. Hoff — February 06, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., asked his constituents recently whether they liked the No Child Left Behind Act.

The answer was a resounding no.

In a survey of more than 2,000 Colorado educators conducted by the senator’s office, the overwhelming sentiment was that the 5-year-old law sets unrealistic achievement goals, is underfinanced, and puts too much emphasis on reading and mathematics.

Sen. Ken Salazar

“The benefits of No Child Left Behind should not be judged by the Department of Education alone,” the first-term senator said in a statement releasing the survey results. “The people who best understand the effects of No Child Left Behind are the people who interact with our students every day.”

Although Mr. Salazar is not on the education committee, which will oversee the reauthorization of the NCLB law, he said he wants to be an active participant in the debate over how to change it.

The survey results he released last month, he said, will inform his views during the reauthorization, scheduled for this year.

In the survey, 85 percent of district administrators and 94 percent of principals and teachers said they don’t believe schools will meet the goal that all students will score at the proficient level by the 2013-14 school year.

“This goal is very lofty, and incremental goals may be easier to achieve, ” Sen. Salazar wrote in a Jan. 16 letter to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Almost 90 percent of the educators said that schools are overlooking subjects other than reading and mathematics—the two subjects that get the greatest focus under the federal law’s accountability system.

“NCLB should not distract from other educational subjects,” Sen. Salazar wrote.

In addition to his ideas for changes, the Coloradan offered a program in his state as a model to inform the NCLB reauthorization.

The pay-for-performance project in the 85,000-student Denver school district is an example of rewarding highly effective teachers, and is one that federal officials should study when considering that topic during the reauthorization, Sen. Salazar said in his letter to Sen. Kennedy.

A version of this article appeared in the February 07, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
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
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Biden Admin. Warns Schools to Protect Students From Antisemitism, Islamophobia
The U.S. Department of Education released a "Dear Colleague" letter reminding schools of their obligation to address discrimination.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at the Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview in his office at the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Federal What Educators Should Know About Mike Johnson, New Speaker of the House
Johnson has supported restructuring federal education funding, as well as socially conservative policies that have become GOP priorities.
4 min read
House Speaker-elect Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., addresses members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. Republicans eagerly elected Johnson as House speaker on Wednesday, elevating a deeply conservative but lesser-known leader to the seat of U.S. power and ending for now the political chaos in their majority.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., addresses members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. Johnson has a supported a number of conservative Republican education priorities in his time in Congress.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Federal America's Children Don't Have a Federal Right to Education. Will That Ever Change?
An education scholar is launching a new research and advocacy institute to make the case for a federal right to education.
6 min read
Kimberly Robinson speaks at the kickoff event for the new Education Rights Institute at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Va., on Oct. 16, 2023.
Kimberly Robinson speaks at the kickoff event for the new Education Rights Institute at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Va., on Oct. 16, 2023.
Julia Davis, University of Virginia School of Law
Federal Q&A Miguel Cardona: There's No 'Magic Strategy' to Help Students Get Back on Track
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said he's focused on supporting schools on work they're already doing to help students achieve.
8 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at the Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at the Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023, in Washington. In an interview with Education Week, Cardona said "there hasn’t been another president in our lifetime that has spoken so much on providing dollars for education but also having education be central to the growth of this country."
Mark Schiefelbein/AP