Alliance for Excellent Education Joins National Effort to Ensure that Federal Stimulus Dollars are Linked to Education Reform
Washington, DC–Today the Alliance for Excellent Education joined more than thirty diverse education, business, civil rights, and philanthropic organizations urging federal, state, and local leaders to ensure that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides more than just a short-term economic boost, but also achieves long-term, dramatic gains in student achievement. The organizations are a part of the newly created Coalition for Student Achievement, which today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan emphasizing that “speed and efficiency must not trump reform and improvement” in delivering these much-needed funds. In the letter, the Coalition pledged to closely monitor state and district progress in allocating the funds and implementing reforms.
“In these times of economic uncertainty, the only sure bet is on education,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “With the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government has heavily emphasized investment in education, but true gain will only come if these dollars are used for reforms that result in dramatic gains for students over the long run.
“Without systemic reform to its education system,” Wise said, “the nation will continue to suffer from a dropout crisis that claims over one million students every year and costs the economy more than $319 billion in lost wages, taxes, and productivity.
“By using the stimulus funds to raise education standards, improve teacher effectiveness, intervene aggressively in low-performing schools, and better prepare students for college and work, states and school districts can eliminate both high school dropouts and financial bailouts. The Coalition for Student Achievement will be an important voice in this effort and the Alliance for Excellent Education is proud to be a part of it.”
More information on the Coalition for Student Achievement, including the letter to Secretary Duncan, is available athttp://www.coalitionforstudentachievement.org.
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.