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Statement from Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on the Release of the ESEA Blueprint

Press Release:

Statement from Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on the Release of the ESEA Blueprint

This morning, the Obama administration released its blueprint to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 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.

“If federal policy is like fixing a car, NCLB had only a hammer and a screwdriver in the toolbox; the ESEA blueprint gives the mechanic many more tools as well as flexibility on how to use them.

“The administration’s blueprint places an important focus on the lowest-performing schools, including the lowest-performing high schools. Half of the nation’s dropouts come from 2,000 high schools. We know where these schools are, and we know how to fix them. The president’s proposal sets us on a path for doing so.

“The blueprint would upgrade NCLB by holding schools accountable, not just for test scores, but for graduation rates as well. It also provides a more specific menu of interventions to turnaround the lowest-performing schools. Current law diagnoses the problem, but falls far short of delivering a cure.

“The proposal provides common-sense flexibility for most schools to help them improve and prescribes necessary guidance, support, and resources for schools that are in desperate need of additional attention.

“This is the right direction to take in order to ensure that all of the nation’s students graduate from high school on time, and ready for college and career.

“Congress must act now to reauthorize ESEA. Everyday we wait, another 7,000 students drop out of high school. We look forward to working with the Congress and the administration on this critical measure for the future success of the nation and its students.”


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

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