Gov. Mike Rounds announced yesterday during a conference of school superintendents that South Dakota's No Child Left Behind state accountability plan had been approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Following is The Associated Press' coverage of the announcement:
Rounds urges school officials to embrace education law
PIERRE, S.D.South Dakota should embrace the new federal education-improvement law as a way to make sure every child gets the best possible education, Gov. Mike Rounds said Tuesday.
The No Child Left Behind Act focuses on helping each student, not on building a state system or institution, Rounds told school superintendents from across South Dakota.
"The support of education is the support of our children, and that message has to be sent loud and clear," the governor told the superintendents. "The basics mean educating our children one child at a time."
The federal law passed at the urging of President Bush seeks to make sure that each student become proficient in reading and mathematics, all teachers are highly qualified, all schools are safe, and all students graduate from high school.
Officials announced Tuesday that South Dakota is the 31st state to have its accountability plan approved by the U.S. Education Department. The accountability plan sets academic standards, requires additional tests to determine how students are performing and provides assistance to schools that need to improve.
Rounds said South Dakota should take advantage of the No Child Left Behind Act to improve the way it educates each student, rather then just meet the law's minimum requirements.
The governor said South Dakota already has a pretty good education system that produces graduates who can compete with students anywhere in the world. South Dakota students not only get good educations, but they also know how to work hard and cooperate with others, he said.
A conference this fall will help 500 or so teachers from across the state become leaders in implementing the federal education law, Rounds said. Those teachers will help others in their school districts understand the law, he said.
Rounds also told the superintendents he hopes to continue increased state aid to school districts to the extent state government can afford it.
The governor said he wants to start a small pilot project to prove his proposed scholarship program can work. He wants the scholarship program to provide free college tuition to South Dakota students who agree to work for a number of years in critical fields, such as nursing and teaching.
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.
If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at NoChildLeftBehindUpdate@ed.gov or call (202) 205-9191.
Last Modified: 08/23/2003