July 22, 2003, Extra Credit
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July 22, 2003
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USA Today Makes the Case for No Child Left Behind
An editorial in today's USA Today observes: "Rather than [helping] make needed school reforms succeed, the unions are trying to block them by raising objections that don't stand up under scrutiny." The USA Today editorial continues by refuting several of the main critiques put forth by the opponents of reform.

Opponents of Reform: Washington won't fund the reforms.

USA Today: "While the goal of ensuring that all children learn at 'proficient' levels by 2014 will require more federal aid, Washington has shown it is prepared to provide it. Since passing the school reform law in 2001, Congress has boosted spending on poor students. New York City schools, for example, receive an extra $1,807 in federal dollars for every poor student—an increase of 53% during the past two years. What's more, many schools are implementing the reforms without massive infusions of money."

Opponents of Reform: The goals are unrealistic.

USA Today: "The goals set for 2014 are ambitious. Yet a sizable number of schools with predominantly low-income students have shown they can keep up the required pace. Their secrets can be shared with schools still struggling."

Opponents of Reform: The reforms are anti-teacher.

USA Today: "The unions say requiring every child to have a 'highly qualified' teacher within two years punishes competent teachers assigned subjects in which they lack expertise. Congress addressed this concern, however, by increasing teacher-training grants in the past two years from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion. And the drive for high-quality teachers is something the unions have long favored."

The complete text of the USA Today editorial can be found at:


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.

If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at or call (202) 205-9191.


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Last Modified: 03/30/2007