Secretary Margaret Spellings and Governor Bob Taft visited a Columbus, Ohio high school yesterday. Both the Governor and Secretary Spellings spoke about President Bushs plan to extend No Child Left Behind to the high school level. The following excerpts appeared in today's edition of The Columbus Dispatch.
"Although 80 percent of the fastest-growing jobs require two or more years of college, only 68 percent of ninth-graders nationwide graduate from high school, the new U.S. secretary of education said yesterday during a visit to Columbus.
"Thats one reason Congress should pass President Bushs plan to extend the No Child Left Behind initiative to high schools, Secretary Margaret Spellings said after meeting with parents and officials at Columbus East High School.
" In a day and time when we have our fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs requiring high levels of skills, we have some work to do with getting kids out of high school and having those kids have some of the high skills that they need, she said.
"Spellings, who was confirmed Jan. 20, held a closed-door discussion that included Gov. Bob Taft, state Superintendent Susan T. Zelman, Columbus Superintendent Gene Harris and East High School officials, parents and students.
"One idea Spellings liked: teachers calling parents of high risk students with weekly reports.
"Spellings said she is holding similar meetings in other states to help her implement the No Child Left Behind law that Bush signed in Ohio nearly three years ago and to promote the president's initiative to expand it to high schools.
"Bush has recommended spending $1.5 billion for a proposal including additional testing in high schools — Ohio would be eligible for at least $25 million of that — and funding for several other programs to boost achievement.
"Spellings said she couldnt handicap what Congress would do with the plan but that "theres such a groundswell of support for it out in the states ."
" What the president believes and I strongly endorse is this notion of what gets measured gets done, she said ."
"Taft has joined 13 governors in a plan to raise high-school academic standards and better align requirements with the demands of college and work. The plan will be coordinated by Achieve Inc., a nonpartisan organization the governors created and Taft helps lead.
"Taft and Spellings visited yesterday at East High School with students in a career academy, a program designed to give students focused training in high demand industries such as information technology ."
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