May 14, 2003, Extra Credit
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May 14, 2003
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Secretary Paige: "Accountability Works. Scientific Studies Show It. Common Sense Knows It. And Parents Demand It."
On Tuesday, the Seattle Times published an op-ed by U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige discussing the importance of accountability in education. Following are excerpts from Paige's commentary:

In the past two decades, there were many attempts to make improvements. Per-pupil spending went up, as did teacher salaries. Student-to-teacher ratios went down. Despite all of these efforts and increased spending totaling hundreds of billions of dollars, student achievement remained as flat as a pancake.

Something was missing from the reform efforts. In a word: accountability.

The No Child Left Behind law, championed by President George W. Bush and passed with strong bipartisan support in Congress, has finally put us on the path to success. This historic law was designed to improve the achievement of all students, regardless of income, background, or ZIP code. And in states like Washington, it's already getting the job done.

In short, accountability works. Scientific studies show it. Common sense knows it. And parents demand it.

We are making great progress implementing the bipartisan No Child Left Behind reforms all across the country. Every state has developed an accountability plan, and 17, including Washington's, have already been approved.

President Bush is working hard to help schools meet the challenge. Despite all of the priorities facing our country, his proposed budget covering the 2004-2005 school year includes more increases in funding to help states meet their own accountability standards. Title I, the main program providing aid for disadvantaged children, will have seen a 41-percent increase since the passage of No Child Left Behind. Never in the history of our nation has a president invested so much in the education of our children.

Some two decades after "A Nation at Risk," a movement that teams parents and teachers and researchers and public officials has led to a historic commitment to accountability - No Child Left Behind - and a bright hope for all of America's children.

The complete text of Secretary Paige's op-ed is available by subscription on the Seattle Times archive site.


About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/24/2004