May 9, 2003, Extra Credit
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May 9, 2003
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"George Washington" Visits New Jersey School to Announce Approval of State's No Child Left Behind Accountability Plan
On Thursday, U.S. Department of Education General Counsel Brian Jones traveled to New Jersey to announce approval of the state's No Child Left Behind state accountability plan. Following are excerpts from coverage of the announcement:

"'I completely support the promise of No Child Left Behind and the work being done toward its goals in the state of New Jersey,' said Education Commissioner William Librera."—The Newark Star-Ledger

"School Superintendent Dr. James Lytle called the state's No Child Left Behind initiatives 'very ambitious.' 'But our intent will be to meet the new requirements,' said Lytle."—The Trentonian

"[Governor Jim] McGreevey called the state's education initiative 'a great plan for New Jersey.'"—The Trentonian

"The Washington School, where three-quarters of the students are black or Hispanic and a third of the student body changes every year, would appear a good model to emulate. Since 1998, achievement has risen from a third of its fourth-grade students passing the state's language arts test to better than 80 percent passing last year. Math gains also were significant. But the district's superintendent yesterday did not credit a specific curriculum or strategy for the improvement, instead pointing across the room to Principal Gail Cropper. 'That's the answer right there,' said Superintendent James Lytle. 'Her mantra is that failure is unacceptable, and she devotes the programs to it. ... Time is never wasted.'"—The Newark Star-Ledger

"[New Jersey Commissioner of Education William] Librera said New Jersey aimed high when establishing its educational criteria. 'We wanted to make sure we had the highest of standards for our students,' said Librera."—The Trentonian

"[Washington Elementary Principal Gail] Cropper said she had doubts at first about whether her school could attain the vision of No Child Left Behind. But the school's teachers set their own goals and signed a 'contract' pledging to attain what the law calls 'adequate yearly progress.' The school has done it so far and Cropper says it can keep up the pace. 'In the beginning, we were somewhat off guard,' Cropper said. 'We didn't think we could do it. But the staff and I are goal-oriented. We always reach our goal.'"—The Trenton Times

"[Washington Elementary Principal Gail] Cropper called it overwhelming yesterday to receive such high-profile visitors. As for 5-year-old Darren Greene, he only partly grasped the significance of [U.S. Department of Education General Counsel Brian] Jones' visit. 'I thought he was George Washington,' Darren said."—The Trenton Times


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/23/2003