No Child Left Behind's 5th Anniversary
Keeping Promises And Achieving Results

January 2007
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"Not once in my travels around the country have I met a parent who didn't want their child learning on grade level." — Secretary Margaret Spellings

Five years ago, the No Child Left Behind Act promised a New Era in American education...

  • All students reading and doing math at grade level by 2014
  • Higher expectations for every student and greater accountability for every school
  • Annual assessments and disaggregated data to observe progress
  • Highly qualified teachers in every classroom
  • Timely information and options for parents
  • The freedom and flexibility to invest in what works

... and it is Working.

  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia have accountability plans in place
  • All 50 states and D.C. assess students in grades 3-8 and once in high school in reading / language arts and mathematics
  • The percentage of classes taught by a highly qualified teacher has risen to over 90 percent
  • Nearly 450,000 eligible students have received free supplemental educational services (tutoring) or public school choice

The decades-old "achievement gap" is finally beginning to Close...

According to the Nation's Report Card, from 1999 to 2004 the gap between:

  • African-American and white 9-year-olds in reading narrowed by 9 points (to an all-time low).
  • African-American and white 9-year-olds in math narrowed by 5 points (to an all-time low).
  • Hispanic and white 9-year-olds in math narrowed by 8 points (to an all-time low).
  • Hispanic and white 9-year-olds in reading narrowed by 7 points (to an all-time low).

... while student achievement is on the Rise.

  • More reading progress was made by 9-year-olds in five years than in the previous 28 years combined
  • Reading and math scores for 9-year-olds and fourth-graders have reached all-time highs
  • Between 2003 and 2005 an additional 235,000 fourth-graders learned their fundamental math skills
  • Forty-six states and D.C. improved or held steady in all categories of students tested in reading and math

Under NCLB, the future is Brighter for every student.

Moving forward, we propose to strengthen and expand the No Child Left Behind Act by:

  • Measuring individual student progress and focusing interventions on students who have yet to reach grade level.
  • Challenging our students and preparing them to succeed in the global economy by establishing more rigorous and advanced coursework in our nation's high schools.
  • Helping teachers close the achievement gap by providing incentives for the best teachers to serve in the most challenging schools.
  • Providing real incentives for reform and empowering parents by offering students the option to attend high-performing schools and receive afterschool tutoring.
  • Holding firm to the 2014 deadline for all students to read and do math at grade level or better.

* Sources: 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trends in Academic Progress; 2005 Nation's Report Card (NAEP); National Assessment of Title I Interim Report

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Last Modified: 02/02/2009