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April 15, 2004, Extra Credit
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April 15, 2004

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Helping The Powerless And Voiceless

The following excerpts are from a recent Dallas Morning News article highlighting the efforts of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options to spread the good news of No Child Left Behind to the Hispanic community:

"If you want to get Marcela Garcini, [a senior field organizer for the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options], hopping mad, just ask her what she saw at the revolution. By that, I mean the parent-led revolt to provide a better education for poor and immigrant children now showing up in school districts across the country. The movement bears a striking resemblance to what happened a generation ago in cities across the country where working-class parents led a grass-roots campaign that changed public schools for the better. … It's a good, rich history. Here you had parents in places such as East Los Angeles, many with little formal education, going down to the schools and demanding that educators do a better job of teaching their children. If you missed it, don't worry. You can catch the sequel."

"Today, it is, once again, Latino parents — especially mothers — who are driving education reform. They are tangling with teachers, administrators, school boards and other interests that like things the way they are. Concerned that their sons and daughters are being cheated out of a quality education, they are organizing other parents and keeping the pressure on lawmakers to pass laws that hold schools accountable."

"[F]or Ms. Garcini, [No Child Left Behind] is pure blessing. To this native of Veracruz, Mexico, it's the kind of law that preserves the American dream for future generations and helps the powerless and the voiceless take a stand against entrenched interests. … [She] says the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options informs Latino and immigrant parents about their rights under the No Child Left Behind Act — nearly 2,000 of them since January. … 'The only message that we're sending to the educational system is that we now are active, that we're learning information we didn't know before and that we want better results.'"

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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: 08/13/2013