June 27, 2003, Extra Credit
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June 27, 2003
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When All 50 States Agreed to Higher Standards of Excellence in Schools
Following are excepts from a column in yesterday's Washington Times. The author, Gary Andres, examines the historical significance of the announcement made earlier this month that all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have developed plans to comply with No Child Left Behind.

"Earlier this month, Mr. Bush announcedin an event largely ignored by the mediathat all 50 states now complied with the No Child Left Behind Act. This landmark achievement could do more to ensure educational excellence in America than any steps previously taken by the federal government. The behind-the-scenes efforts by the White House and the Department of Education to assist states in achieving compliance is an object lesson in how the unglamorous work of policy implementation is what really makes a difference in Washington."

"Beginning in January 2002, Education Department officials, led by Undersecretary Gene Hickok, began the arduous process of meeting with state officials, discussing how to implement the No Child Left Behind Act. 'We told them we wanted to be partners, not compliance officers,' Mr. Hickok said. 'But we also let them know we would enforce the law.'"

"Ten years from now, perhaps on another sultry summer day, when a different president announces an American achievement based on quality education, it could be a result of an unheralded White House ceremony in June 2003. A day when all 50 states agreed to higher standards of excellence in schools and a president not only worked with Congress to pass a law, but invested the sweat equity to make sure it was implemented."

The complete text of the Mr. Andres' column can be found at:


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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: 08/23/2003