The following are excerpts from an editorial by today’s Christian Science Monitor calling on states to support the reforms of the No Child Left Behind Act:
"It’s sad to see that No Child Left Behind is running up against resistance to the act’s primary goals: to provide all children with a quality education and to close the math and language achievement gaps between rich and poor, black and white, native and nonnative English speaking students….
"Pointing out an achievement gap is precisely what the law is designed to do. Identifying a problem pinpoints what needs to be fixed. Fixing America’s public schools is like turning an aircraft carrier around. One doesn’t turn it quickly nor easily. It will be difficult to reorient the focus of teachers, schools, districts, and states to achieve the academic benchmarks called for in NCLB. The law recognizes this challenge by giving such a long lead time to comply….
"The US Department of Education must continue to work closely with states to refine the law’s regulations, and to learn from the experiences of states which already have rigorous testing. But the central thrust of NCLB - transparency by gathering statistics on essentially all students school by school through standardized testing in math and reading - must remain.
"States have long had an option to not take federal education money. Now, American taxpayers are demanding to see results from that money, through NCLB. The best result would be to lift the education levels of all students."
To read the full editorial, log onto http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0713/p08s02-comv.html
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