Statement from Bob Wise, President of the Alliance For Excellent Education, on the President’s Blueprint to Overhaul NCLB
Washington, DC – This morning, in his weekly address to the nation, President Obama discussed his blueprint to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement.
“This morning, President Obama discussed a blueprint to overhaul NCLB and transform the nation’s education house from a fixer-upper into a mansion on the hill. His proposal outlines a common sense approach: set a high bar, reward success, and focus resources on the schools that need the most help.
“In the absence of a clear plan to reauthorize ESEA, the federal government, over the last few years, has applied new coats of paint and installed new cabinets through regulation, waivers, and the stimulus bill in an effort to ‘make due’ until ESEA could be reauthorized. As a result, states and school districts are increasingly forced to reconcile two sets of rules coming from Washington—one set from NCLB, the other from the economic stimulus package.
“The result has been frustration and confusion at the state and local levels, but little change in the classroom, especially for high school students, who drop out at a rate of 7,000 students every school day. Current federal education policy largely neglects this problem, giving some of the nation’s lowest-performing high schools a passing grade while prescribing limited solutions for others.
“The need for reform is clear. Thankfully, Republicans and Democrats have signaled that they are willing to work together—no small feat given the current political environment—to reauthorize ESEA in 2010 and make every child a high school graduate, prepared for college and career.
“I urge the administration and the Congress to do what’s best for America’s students and its future—don’t delay, reauthorize ESEA.”
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.