Introduction: No Child Left Behind
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This law is historic. The bipartisan spirit of change is unprecedented. It is a new era in education.

  • Democrats and Republicans united under the President's leadership to declare that success in schools will be measured by --whether every child is learning.

  • No country has ever made the bold commitment that every boy and every girl will learn and excel-regardless of race, family-background, or income.

Spending more money does not guarantee success. We must use our resources more wisely.

  • Since 1966, the federal government has spent $321 billion (in today's dollars) to help educate disadvantaged children.

  • Federal discretionary spending on education has more than doubled since 1996.

Chart illustrating federal discretionary spending from 1966 to 2002 along with reading scores from 1982 to 2000.  While spending has gone from approximately 5 billion dollars to approximately 22.5 billion dollars, reading scores have remained flat at approximately 200 (on a scale from 0-500).

Despite increased spending:

  • Less than one-third of our fourth graders read proficiently.
  • Reading performance has not improved in more than 15 years.
  • Less than 20 percent of our nation's 12th graders score proficiently in math.
  • And, among the industrialized nations of the world, our 12th graders rank near the bottom in science and math.

No Child Left Behind holds schools accountable. All states must implement statewide accountability systems, which will:

  • set academic standards in each content area for what students should know and be able to do,
  • gather specific, objective data through tests aligned with those standards,
  • use test data to identify strengths and weaknesses in the system,
  • report school academic achievement to parents and communities,
  • empower parents to take action based on school information,
  • recognize schools that make real progress, and
  • direct changes in schools that need help.

It gives state and local officials the flexibility to find local solutions to local problems.

  • Encourages using federal money to solve local problems, not to subsidize bureaucracy.

  • Principals and administrators will spend less time filling out forms and dealing with federal red tape. They will have more time to spend focusing on student achievement.

It only funds curricula and teaching methods that are scientifically proven to work.
  • President Bush is confident that if educators use the best materials, scientifically-proven instructional methods, and textbooks aligned with state standards, students can succeed.

  • Under No Child Left Behind, the federal government will invest in educational practices that work-that research evidence has shown to be effective in improving student performance.

No Child Left Behind gives every parent the information, options and freedom to get help for their sons and daughters trapped in schools in need of improvement.

  • Parents of children in schools in need of improvement will have the choice to direct district funds toward transportation costs to a better public school or toward supplemental services (tutoring or after-school programs) for their children.

When Congress united to support No Child Left Behind -- Democrats and Republicans combined record spending with a commitment to reform and results.

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Last Modified: 05/20/2004