Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Issues Statement on Secretary Spellings’s Announcement
Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement in response to Secretary Spellings’s announcement that up to ten states will be permitted to differentiate between schools that are failing deeply and those that are closer to meeting performance goals:
“Secretary Spellings’s announcement is a step in the right direction toward the accountability and improvement system that the Alliance supports. I’m especially happy to learn that participating states must focus their most significant actions around their lowest-performing schools, such as the high school ‘dropout factories’ that graduate less than sixty percent of their students.
“However, I’m concerned that, without a new funding stream for high schools, states will not have the resources that they need to effectively target the dropout factories that exist within their borders; currently only 8 percent of Title I funds go to high schools. In addition, the secretary’s plan would leave forty states mired in the current flawed system.
“Last year, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), and Congressmen Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Graduation Promise Act (GPA) to create a $2.4 billion High School Improvement and Dropout Reduction Fund to help every state create statewide systems of differentiated high school improvement. The GPA would focus research and evidence-based intervention on the lowest-performing high schools to help them reduce dropout rates and increase student achievement.
“In order to ensure that all students have access to the targeted support and additional resources that they need to succeed, Congress needs to make significant high school reform—like that included in the GPA—a part of a reauthorized No Child Left Behind Act. Only then can the nation end the dropout crisis and ensure that every student is a high school graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.”
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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.
For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.