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April 1, 2004

Past Extra Credits
March 31
All issues
Extra Credit Celebrates Its First Anniversary

Today is the one-year anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Extra Credit. In over 200 editions published throughout the last year: The Extra Credit has highlighted how No Child Left Behind is improving education for all of America's children; it has clarified various facts about No Child Left Behind; it has highlighted various U.S. Department of Education resources for parents and teachers; and most importantly, it has drawn attention to teachers, principals and other education leaders throughout the country who will not accept the status quo and who believe that every child, no matter what race, income, dialect or zip code, can learn and that closing the achievement gap is essential to ensuring that no child is left behind. The following are some of the most memorable quotes highlighted in past Extra Credits on how No Child Left Behind is working to close the achievement gap and to provide every child the opportunity to succeed.

No Child Left Behind is the Key to Closing the Achievement Gap

"This Nation will not go back to the days of simply shuffling children along from grade to grade without them learning the basics. I refuse to give up on any child—and the No Child Left Behind Act is opening the door of opportunity to all of America's children." President George W. Bush in his 2004 State of the Union address. (January 21, 2004)

"Historically, we've judged our schools primarily on how their top kids did. But this law says you are no longer successful if you are not successful with every group of kids." The Education Trust Director Kati Haycock quoted in U.S. News & World Report. (April 24, 2003)

"'While there are difficult challenges to [meeting] the standards of No Child Left Behind, we view it more as an opportunity,' says Superintendent John O. Simpson. 'The law gives us opportunities to address the needs of all students.' Gloria Hagans, senior director for compensatory programs, voices a similar view. 'We're not at all panicked or pessimistic. I've seen the difference the law has made in people in looking at the big picture.'" The National School Board Association's School Board News. (November 14, 2003)

"In short, the AYP system is doing what it was meant to do: shining a bright light on the state of achievement in America, identifying schools that need improvement, and allowing us to take important steps toward closing achievement gaps and having all students proficient in reading and math over the coming decade." The Education Trust. (October 23, 2003)

Closing the Achievement Gap

"Students in the largest urban public-school systems showed improvement in reading and math in the first year under the federal No Child Left Behind law, according to a coalition of inner-city schools. The study by the Council of the Great City Schools reviewed test scores from 61 urban school districts in 37 states. It compared 2002 and 2003 test results." The Associated Press. (March 22, 2004)

"Boyle Superintendent Pam Rogers said district officials were happy with progress at elementary schools, but knows there are areas in which to improve. 'Although Boyle for several years has ranked among the top 30 school districts in Kentucky, we feel more urgency as a result of the No Child Left Behind report to improve the learning experience for all students,' said Rogers. 'Based on this most recent data, we know we need to try even harder to meet the needs of students with disabilities, particularly, and to continue our work to assist the other student subgroups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, students with limited English proficiency and students from low-income families.'" Danville Advocate-Messenger. (November 18, 2003)

"There are four [schools] in Gallup that were the lowest of the low—primarily serving Native American children—that were having the most difficult time achieving in our state. Today, they're meeting standards. It can be done." New Mexico Superintendent Michael Davis quoted in The Associated Press. (August 6, 2003)

"Sacramento City Unified School District results showed that 50 percent of the English learners scored at the early advanced or advanced levels. Maria Lopez, Sacramento City Unified spokeswoman, said that the federal No Child Left Behind Act has prompted educators to push all students. 'It keeps it on the front burner that when they mean 'no child left behind' it means just that—no child left behind,' said Lopez. 'That is especially true in urban districts where there a lot of are newcomers to the English language.'" Sacramento Bee. (March 25, 2004)

"Yet, in addition to robust increases in overall passing rates, school systems that have issued preliminary data also are reporting significant headway in narrowing achievement gaps between white and minority students. In Johnston County, for example, the passing rate on math tests among black students, grades three through eight, narrowed from 17 points below white students in 2002 to 11.8 points this year. Among Hispanic students, the gap with white students closed from 10.5 points to 4.5 points. ... Tandra Batchelor-Mapp, principal of Glendale-Kenly Elementary School in Johnston County, said her school stepped up efforts to encourage parent participation while requiring more extra help and tutoring for struggling students. 'No Child Left Behind was a major factor,' Batchelor-Mapp said. 'We want our students and parents to be proud of our school.'" News & Observer. (June 19, 2003)

"Colorado schools are aggressively wooing Latino moms and dads in an effort to boost test scores and meet tough learning standards required by the 2-year-old 'No Child Left Behind' federal education law. Teachers and principals at Hanson Elementary in Adams County District 14, for instance, go to the homes of parents to deliver school supplies and talk to them about the school. ... Some schools, including Hanson Elementary, saw the percentage of students with proficient third-grade reading scores climb by 20 points." Denver Post. (July 8, 2003)

"Hanson is one of 26 schools in Illinois to be honored as a Spotlight School. While it has a high level of students from low-income families, one of the most significant factors that goes along with educational failure, achievement is high. The school's poverty level rose from 58 percent to 71 percent from 2001 to 2003. But during the same time period, test scores rose. For example, the percentage of third-graders who can read well increased from 59 percent to 65 percent and math scores improved from 69 percent to 74 percent. ... Marilyn McConachie, the director of the project for Northern Illinois University, said schools that succeed have several components. Ultimately, however, success lies in the fact 'they expect every child to excel and they find ways to make that happen. They don't just raise the bar, they coach every student how to get over it,' she added." Quad-City Times. (October 27, 2003)

"The jump in scores might be districts' responses to federal mandates that hold schools more accountable, said Lance Batchelor, Owen-Withee Elementary School principal. 'Schools are working hard to be accountable for what the kids are learning,' Batchelor said. A strong Title One program for students who are behind their classmates in reading is part of the reason 100 percent of Owen-Withee's third-graders' reading scores were rated in the advanced or proficient categories—the top two—this year, up from 83.3 percent last year, Batchelor said." Marshfield News-Herald (July 18, 2003)

"The Los Angeles Unified School District is on the move in addressing improved student achievement and our number one goal is to close the achievement gap and to provide the support necessary to ensure all students have ample opportunities to improve their academic achievement. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to inform you that your child may be eligible for extra academic assistance under the federal law, The No Child Left Behind Act." The opening of a letter to parents from Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Roy Romer. (September 23, 2003)

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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: 03/25/2008