Statement from Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on Seventh Anniversary of No Child Left Behind
On January 8th, President Bush joined U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to mark the seventh anniversary of the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Reauthorization of the law, which was due in 2007, has yet to occur. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia issued the following statement:
“On this seventh birthday of NCLB, we can celebrate the law setting a national goal of higher education standards for all students and requiring identification of the problem areas. But like most seven-year-olds, the full potential of this law has yet to be realized. It is past time for good aspirations and detailed data to move to action that truly addresses the needs of the nation’s middle and high school students. In the two years since the law was due to be reauthorized, nearly 2.5 million students have dropped out of high school; over the course of their lifetimes, these dropouts will cost the economy more than $635 billion in lost wages.
“I can think of no better way for President-elect Barack Obama, who understands that economic recovery will not be successful without education reform, to cement his commitment to an improved education for all Americans than to make this reauthorization a priority. Important changes to this federal lever will help ensure that desperately needed middle and high school reform really happens around the country. For all the seven-year-olds in the United States, enacting truly comprehensive legislation that focuses real commitment and resources on greatly increasing our nation’s high school graduation rate will provide the birthday present that lasts all their lives.”
# # #
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.