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Reactions To Every Child A Graduate

It is time to build on our investments and success in the early school years and make a first-class commitment to secondary education. It makes no sense to make major new investments to start children on the path to success only to give up on them as they grow older. The good news is that we know what it takes to help students master essential skills and channel their youthful energy toward lifelong success.

There are hundreds of excellent public secondary schools and we can draw on the key elements they share: quality teachers and principals, smaller learning environments, after-school and summer tutoring programs, engaging curricula, academic planning and support systems and, above all, an emphasis on building reading proficiency. To implement these best practices on a national scale at the secondary level, we must exercise the same energy and commitment that we have devoted to the early grades. This need for energy and commitment to improve secondary schools and the achievement of at-risk students was the impetus behind the creation of the Alliance for Excellent Education…

Richard W. Riley, Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough; former Secretary, U.S. Department of Education (under former president William J. Clinton)


The Alliance’s Framework for an Excellent Education is an important strategy for improving the outcomes of the millions of secondary school students who are at risk of dropping out or of graduating without the skills that they will need to succeed in life. I support the Alliance’s call for the federal government to join in partnership with states, local districts, foundations, the business community and schools to provide the assistance, guidance and leadership necessary to ensure that every child will graduate and do so with the skills that they need.

Christopher Cross, Senior Fellow, Center for Education Policy; former Assistant Secretary, Office of Education Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education (under former president George H.W. Bush)


On behalf of the 7,900 members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), I write to express our support for the Alliance for Excellent Education’s “Framework for an Excellent Education” initiative…

The Framework for an Excellent Education is an important follow up to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Framework for an Excellent Education can help ensure that schools have a system in place to guide students into the world beyond K-12 education.

Joyce Smith, Executive Director
National Association for College Admission Counseling


The report’s four research-based components included in the Framework for an Excellent Education are precisely the types of matters that must be addressed if student achievement is to improve on a national scale. NASSP’s publications, “Turning Points 2000” and “Breaking Ranks: Changing an American Institution,” mirror the findings and recommendations of the components. These and other studies underscore the immediate need for additional federal and state resources for secondary schools.

Our nation’s commitment to “leave no child behind” must be met with action, not only accountability. It is time to provide the resources required to help every child become a high achiever and the support needed to overcome the challenges that he or she may encounter along the way.

NASSP applauds the efforts of the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) and their focus on meeting the needs of all children.

Gerald Tirozzi, Ph.D., Executive Director
National Association of Secondary School Principals


National Middle School Association (NMSA) fully supports the comments and recommendations found in Every Child a Graduate: A Framework for an Excellent Education. We, too, recognize that many young adolescents have unsuccessful educational experiences for numerous reasons. That is why we appreciate the framework’s approach in addressing a number of factors that can contribute to a child’s success…

If our nation is truly committed to “leave no child behind,” then it is time for action. Resources are needed to help middle level schools and high schools provide an education that is academically challenging and developmentally appropriate for every student. This can be accomplished by using the framework outline in Every Child a Graduate. Likewise, it is time to address the immediate need of resources targeted for these students. Our common goal must be to provide every student a quality education that develops his or her unique skills and talents to the fullest. To do less is not acceptable.

Sue Swaim, Executive Director
National Middle School Association


This is a no-nonsense plan that can really work. We have the proven tools we need to save our students and as indicated in this report, the federal government can help fund needed college counseling and individualized student learning by increasing funding for programs like TRIO.

Arnold Mitchem, President
Council for Opportunity and Education


It is my pleasure to offer the support of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) for your report entitled, Every Child a Graduate. With the recent enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, it is imperative that we ensure at risk students receive the tools and services they need to succeed – from pre-K through higher education…

Given NCCEP’s mission to promote effective K-12 partnerships as a means to raise student achievement, I particularly commend the College Preparation Initiative advanced by this report. Indeed, this initiative embraces many of NCCEP’s core principles: parental involvement, community engagement in schools, early information and planning for postsecondary education enrollment, and regular academic counseling and mentoring beginning in middle school. These principles are at the heart of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

Hector Garza, Ed.D, President
National Council for Community and Education Partnerships


The National Council of Teachers of English shares your concern regarding the narrow focus of the No Child Left Behind legislation and agrees that attention needs to be paid not only to enhancing literacy education for students at the elementary level but also for those at the middle and high school levels. The “Every Child A Graduate: A Framework for an Excellent Education” statement outlines challenges which the 77,000 members of the National Council of Teachers of English understand and share.

At the September 21, 2002 meeting of the Executive Committee of National Council of Teachers of English, the group voted to affirm the work of the Alliance for Excellent Education and generally support the “Every Child a Graduate” statement. We are, as are you, hoping that the work of the Alliance for Excellent Education will indeed result in funding which extends literacy education assistance to older students.

Leila Christenbury, President
National Council of Teachers of English

Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.