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Spellings Announces Further Flexibility, Continues Common Sense Approach to No Child Left Behind
Announcement proves bipartisan support for NCLB is alive and well
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FOR RELEASE:
September 1, 2005
Contacts: Susan Aspey or Sarah Sauber
(202) 401-1576

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Chicago — U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings joined Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Sen. Mike Enzi, Sen. Dick Durbin and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to announce further flexibility to Chicago Public Schools under the No Child Left Behind Act's supplemental educational services (SES) provisions.

"These agreements are examples of our common-sense approach to implementing No Child Left Behind," Spellings said. "We're focusing on the bottom line of raising achievement for all students and increasing choices for parents. In exchange for greater flexibility from the Department, Chicago has committed to making high-quality academic help available to more students leading to increased achievement. Today's announcement shows that everybody—Republicans and Democrats alike—cares about our children's futures."

Supplemental educational services are an important component of No Child Left Behind, giving low-income parents real options to obtain free tutoring for their children. But, not enough students are receiving this help; only about 10 to 20 percent of eligible students across the country participated in free tutoring during the 2003-04 school year.

Under this flexibility agreement, the Chicago Public School District has committed to making extra help available to students and will be part of a series of free tutoring pilots that will be tested during the 2005-06 school year. Through these pilots, the Department of Education hopes to gain valuable information that can be shared with other states and districts to improve the quality and delivery of this free tutoring. These pilots will ensure more eligible students are receiving supplemental educational services and that there is better information on how effective SES programs are in improving the academic achievement of the students receiving the services.

This is the second announcement of this kind—four school districts in Virginia were given similar flexibility last week.

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Last Modified: 09/27/2005