On Thursday, August 4th, Secretary Margaret Spellings spoke to state legislators at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas. The following are excerpts from articles in The Houston Chronicle (reported by the Associated Press) and The Dallas Morning News:
Education chief defends No Child law
"Calling the federal No Child Left Behind Act ‘good policy and good politics,’ U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings defended the landmark education law Thursday….
Spellings said No Child Left Behind is a partnership, not a mandate, and she reiterated her pledge to address states' concerns about testing special education students and those who speak limited English.
‘I know as well as you do that the hard work of educating our children doesn't happen in Washington, D.C.,’ Spellings told hundreds of people at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council….
Spellings also said big gains on the 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress show the law is working. The nation's 9-year-olds posted their best reading and math scores in more than 30 years on the test, sometimes referred to as the nation's report card."
‘No Child’ working, education chief says
"U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings demonstrated her continued staunch support of the No Child Left Behind Act in a speech before the American Legislative Exchange Council's 32nd annual meeting.
‘The American people see education as a value, not an issue,’ she said. ‘That's why the majority of adults in our country say that a high-quality public education system is the most important factor in our country's global success.’
The secretary spoke one day after President Bush addressed the group, and she referenced her time working for Mr. Bush on education reform when he was governor of Texas.
‘I saw that he truly believed then – as he does now – that every single child can learn,’ she said….
Ronald Forster, a Georgia lawmaker, said he and several other state legislators recently sat down with her to discuss the negative response to No Child Left Behind. Mr. Forster said he asked Ms. Spellings why the act asked for an unobtainable 100 percent graduation rate.
‘Why not have a high goal like 95 percent? Something more reasonable,’ he said. ‘She looked at me and said, "OK – who do you want to leave behind?"’"
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