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"One in every five children under 18 is of Hispanic origin. We must work together to ensure all these children stay in school and have the chance to achieve their potential."
-- Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
In the past, too many Hispanic American students were shortchanged by our nation's schools.
- In the greatest country in the world, we created two education systems – separate and unequal.
- A growing "achievement gap" was evidence that some students were taught well while the rest – mostly poor and minority – were allowed to struggle or drop out.
- Language and cultural barriers, too often left unaddressed by schools, exacerbated the problem.
The No Child Left Behind law ensures that schools are held accountable for the academic progress of every child, regardless of race, ethnicity, income level or zip code.
- Because of No Child Left Behind, closing the achievement gap is now a national priority.
- Schools are now held specifically accountable for the annual progress of Hispanic American students.
- Schools must have high expectations for every child -- the soft bigotry of low expectations is no longer tolerated.
Parents now receive important information about the academic performance of their child and his/her school.
- No Child Left Behind requires annual assessment of students in grades 3-8 and once more in high school.
- The law requires states and school districts to give parents easy-to-read, detailed report cards on schools and districts, telling them which schools are succeeding.
When schools don't make the grade, families are given new options.
- Schools that don't meet state standards for two years in a row are identified as "in need of improvement."
- Parents must be offered the choice of sending their child to another public or public charter school in the district that is not in need of improvement, as well as transportation to that school.
- Schools that don't meet state standards for three years must offer free tutoring or other academic services to eligible low-income students.
- School officials must develop a plan with families, teachers, the school district, community leaders and outside experts to turn their underperforming school around.
The No Child Left Behind Act is working for Hispanic Americans.
- According to the Nation's Report Card, reading and math scores for Hispanic nine-year-olds, and math scores for Hispanic 13-year-olds, are at all-time highs.
- Over the past 5 years, Hispanic 9-year-olds' reading scores are up 12 pts. and math scores are up 17 pts.
- The achievement gap between white and Hispanic 9-year-olds in reading and math is at an all-time low.
President Bush and Congress continue to demonstrate their commitment to education.
- President Bush's FY 2006 budget would increase total funding for No Child Left Behind to $25.3 billion, an increase of $8 billion, or 46 percent over FY2001 levels.
- The budget would increase Title I funding for low-income students to $13.3 billion, an increase of $4.6 billion, or 52 percent since the law was enacted.
- The President has called for more than $675 million – a 51 percent increase since 2001 – to help ensure that Limited English Proficient students learn English and meet high academic standards.
For more information on No Child Left Behind visit www.nclb.gov or call 1-800-USA-LEARN.