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No Child Left Behind and Faith-Based Leaders
Working Together So All Children Succeed
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Here are some ways that No Child Left Behind can help

"The indispensable and transforming work of faith-based and other charitable service groups must be encouraged. Government cannot be replaced by charities, but it can and should welcome them as partners."

— President
George W. Bush

No Child Left Behind provides opportunities for faith-based organizations to assist in educating children.

  • Faith-based organizations can receive funds to provide tutoring and other academic enrichment services for eligible low-income students. Religious organizations can become supplemental educational services providers by applying to states and then working with districts to provide services directly to students in reading, language arts and mathematics. Many faith-based organizations are already providing these services in innercity and rural communities across the country, where assistance is needed most. Faith-based organizations often find it useful to establish their program as a not-for-profit (501c3) to receive funds.

  • In addition to becoming supplemental educational services providers, faith-based groups can receive grants from a range of other programs that provide extra academic help. These include activities such as afterschool programs (21st Century Community Learning Centers); early literacy programs (Early Reading First); technology programs (Community Technology Centers); and mentoring programs (Safe and Drug-Free Schools).

  • To help increase awareness and understanding of No Child Left Behind, the U.S. Department of Education provides free, user-friendly materials in English and Spanish that can strengthen the work of faith-based organizations. These researchbased publications, including booklets, pamphlets and overheads, cover topics such as reading, math, homework and character education and are available for distribution to faith-based groups and their members.

To help improve the quality of education in America under No Child Left Behind, faith-based groups can ...

"What better way of reflecting our values as a nation than to say that we believe that every single child deserves our best effort, and we believe education is a civil right—just like the right to vote and the right to be treated equally."

— Secretary Rod Paige
  • Share success stories with clergy and community leaders so that they too can use resources and information provided by No Child Left Behind.

  • Meet and talk with members of the congregation. Find out what their skills and interests are and engage their support for a plan of action.

  • Become a supplemental educational services provider. Information can be obtained by visiting www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/fbci/index.html or by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN and asking for the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Help is also available from state departments of education.

  • Call upon state and local officials, including school board members, to fully implement every aspect of No Child Left Behind.

  • Inform and educate parents about the new opportunities for children under No Child Left Behind. No Child Left Behind: A Parents Guide is available from www.ed.gov/parents/landing.jhtml.

  • Provide resources, serve as mentors and act as advocates, particularly in schools where parental involvement is currently limited. To request free publications while supplies last, call toll-free 1-877-433-7827, or visit www.edpubs.org.

Resources

For more information on No Child Left Behind, call toll-free 1-800-USA-LEARN, or visit www.NoChildLeftBehind.gov. For the complete list of grants available to faith-based and community groups, please visit www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/fbci/index.html then select "Guide to Funding."

"Just as Brown v. Board of Education declared that separate schools are inherently unequal, No Child Left Behind declares that separate instruction—instruction that is based upon assumptions that certain children cannot learn—is inherently unequal. The new law says that we as a nation will not tolerate schools that practice the soft bigotry of low expectations."

— Secretary Rod Paige

No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, signed into law on January 8, 2002, opened a new era in American education. The act is based on four basic education reform principles put forward by the president: stronger accountability for results; increased flexibility and local control; expanded options for parents; and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work. This law—with the cooperation of faithbased organizations, parents, communities, school leadership and classroom teachers—will ensure that every child in America receives a great education and that no child is left behind.

Throughout our nation's history, faith communities have played an essential role in educating children.

Churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations have supported and extended the work of local schools by offering tutoring, reading instruction, mentoring, after-school programs and a wide range of other services. Faith communities have met the educational needs of young people with efforts that have been as generous as they have been effective.

The recently passed No Child Left Behind Act—the landmark education reform law designed to close the historic achievement gaps between disadvantaged and minority students and their more advantaged peers—gives faith-based groups new opportunities to build on the good work they are already doing. No Child Left Behind resources can help faith-based groups to find new ways to help meet the learning needs of all children and to discover new ways to partner with local schools.

With No Child Left Behind, schools and religious organizations can become even more powerful allies in the effort to ensure that all children—regardless of their race, family income or the language spoken in their homes—receive a high-quality education.


 
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Last Modified: 02/26/2010