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Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Testifies Before House Committee on Education and Labor

Press Release:

Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Testifies Before House Committee on Education and Labor

Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, testified this afternoon before the House Committee on Education and Labor at a hearing on “NCLB: Preventing Dropouts and Enhancing School Safety.”

In his testimony, Gov. Wise discussed the critical need to expand No Child Left Behind so that all students, especially the six million at risk of dropping out, receive the support they need to stay in and finish high school.

“Every school day, 7,000 students drop out – that’s 7,000 students who could have become teachers or researchers, small business owners, or Congressmen,” Gov. Wise testified. “The good news is that, although there is a significant crisis, we know much about how to respond. The reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act offers the opportunity to take critical steps towards improving our nation’s middle and high schools.”

Gov. Wise made the following recommendations to strengthen the law:

  • Hold states, districts and high schools accountable for calculating graduation rates accurately and consistently, disaggregating them by subgroup, and significantly improving them over time.
  • Require high quality assessments that are performance based and aligned to college and work standards (as well as to the 8th grade assessment) to be given for accountability purposes no earlier than the 11th grade.
  • Create a High School Improvement Fund that would turn around low-performing high schools by leveraging state systems to differentiate school improvement strategies based on school-specific data and build the capacity of states and districts to ensure and support high school improvement.
  • Authorize the Striving Readers Act to ensure support for adolescent literacy in every state and help struggling middle and high school students achieve in all subjects by improving their literacy skills.
  • Ensure that, by 2012, all states implement a longitudinal data system that includes the ten elements identified by the Data Quality Campaign and provide grants to develop, implement and use such data systems to improve teaching and learning.
  • Provide incentives for states to adopt common standards aligned with college and workplace needs, and offer high-quality assessments to measure progress toward those standards, relieving states that choose to use them of the burden of producing NCLB-required assessments.

For Gov. Wise’s full written testimony, please visit here.

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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:

Categories: High School Dropout Rates

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.