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October 31, 2003, Extra Credit
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October 31, 2003
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 October 30
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The Answer Is The Teachers

Because research has shown that the quality of a teacher is one of the most important components of how well students learn, the bipartisan No Child Left Behind law requires that there be a "highly qualified" teacher in every public school classroom by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. President Bush's proposed budget for FY 2004 includes more than $4.5 billion to support teachers through training, recruitment, incentives, loan forgiveness, and educator-specific tax relief.

Highlighting the importance of quality teachers, following is an excerpt from a recent article, "Poor Children Can Excel With The Right Teachers," which appeared in The Press of Atlantic City:

"Kati Haycock has heard all the excuses for why poor children don't succeed.

"'It's the same list, nationwide,' she told educators at Rowan University last week. 'They're poor. Their parents don't care. They have no parents or books or breakfast.'

"But if being poor means being less successful, Haycock wants to know why all across the country researchers have found extremely poor schools in which students perform well above average.

"The answer is the teachers.

"'Good teachers matter more than anything else,' Haycock, director of the Education Trust, told educators at the first P-20 Conference at Rowan University.

"In a chart-filled presentation, Haycock knocked down all the excuses made for poor schools' failures, and told the educators to learn instead from the poor schools' successes.

"'We tend to believe that as poverty increases, achievement declines,' she said. 'But that is just not true. We have seen achievement in poor schools all over the country, and in New Jersey.'

"'We tend to believe that as poverty increases, achievement declines,' she said. 'But that is just not true. We have seen achievement in poor schools all over the country, and in New Jersey.'

"Education Trust research shows that if the teachers are well trained and effective, the administration provides support, curriculum is challenging and there are high expectations for everyone, the students do succeed."

The Press of Atlantic City article ran on October 27, 2003, and is no longer available online.

Teachers interested in receiving more information about No Child Left Behind and the law's "highly qualified" teacher provisions can order the U.S. Department of Education's free "Teacher Toolkit" by calling (877) 433-7827. .

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About Extra Credit
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.

If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at NoChildLeftBehindUpdate@ed.gov or call (202) 205-9191.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2004