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Gov. Bob Wise Comments on U.S. House Passage of Bill to Rewrite NCLB

“Options are good when you’re buying a car, but no one would buy a car without seat belts,” said Gov. Wise.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Student Success Act, legislation to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is 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:

“In the name of providing more options to states and school districts, the Student Success Act removes long-standing protections for students from low-income families, students of color, and other traditionally underserved students. Options are good when you’re buying a car, but no one would buy a car without seat belts.

“The House-passed bill makes optional the need for college- and career-ready standards. It makes optional the need to intervene when traditionally underserved students fall behind. And it makes optional the need to reform the nation’s lowest-performing high schools. Yet requiring less than a high-quality education for all students can never be an option.

“Representative Bobby Scott introduced an alternative proposal that would uphold the federal role in preparing all students for college and a career. For example, it would ensure that the nation’s 1,235 high schools that fail to graduate one-third or more of their students receive support. Unfortunately, Mr. Scott’s amendment was not adopted.

“Eyes now turn toward the Senate, which this week is debating the Every Child Achieves Act—its bill to rewrite NCLB. I urge the Senate to preserve the federal government’s fifty-year commitment to education as a civil right. To do so, the bill must ensure support when students demonstrate low academic performance. This common-sense approach to federal education policy will provide every student to the opportunity to graduate from high school fully prepared for college and a career.”


The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.