April 5, 2005 Extra Credit
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April 5, 2005

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April 4
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"It’s Being Done"

The Achievement Alliance is a project of the Just for the Kids / National Center for Educational Accountability, National Council of La Raza, Business Roundtable, Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, and The Education Trust. On its website is stated: "We believe that the No Child Left Behind Act represents the nation's best hope for raising the academic performance of all students and closing achievement gaps. Our goal is to provide accurate, nonpartisan information about student achievement." Below is an excerpt from the "It’s Being Done" section of The Alliance Alert, an email newsletter of The Achievement Alliance:

"Despite its small-town feel and beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay, the town of Rock Hall Maryland is struggling. The common assessment is, ‘there’s no work.’ It is still known in Kent County as ‘Fish Town,’ a reflection of its waterman past, but fewer fish and crabs in the water mean less work — although it is still possible to see yards full of wire-mesh crab traps. The lack of work means that any young people try to move away as soon as they can, and drugs have ravaged the community.

"All this helps explain why 62 percent of the children at Rock Hall Elementary qualify for the federal free- and reduced-price lunch program, which is another way of saying they are poor. Bess Engle, the principal of Rock Hall, can tell one tragic story after another about her students – stories of children exposed to abuse, abandonment and all the uncertainty of poverty in America.

"But here’s one thing they can be certain of – they will be taught to read. All but a handful of Rock Hall’s third graders met or exceeded state reading standards last year, and there is a plan in place to get those few who didn’t meet the standards up to standard. Even a child with a documented IQ of 56 has begun – with careful instruction — to read.

"The achievement statistics at Rock Hall far surpass the other schools in Kent County, even those which are much wealthier than Rock Hall.

"Rock Hall stands out, in fact, as having among the best statistics of schools in Maryland. Its reading scores don’t look out of place when arrayed alongside some of the wealthiest schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, which means among the wealthiest schools in the nation."


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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: 08/14/2013