Read STATEMENT BY SECRETARY SPELLINGS ON ASPEN INSTITUTE REPORT TITLED
BEYOND NCLB [pdf]. -Angela
From: "U.S. Department of Education"
Date: February 13, 2007 9:14:12 AM CST
To: "U.S. Department of Education"
Subject: STATEMENT BY SECRETARY SPELLINGS ON ASPEN INSTITUTE REPORT ON NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202
Feb. 13, 2006
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY SPELLINGS ON ASPEN INSTITUTE REPORT ON NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today made the following statement on the release of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind “Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nations’ Children” report:
Every child in America deserves a good education, regardless of race, income or zip code. That is why lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came together to craft the No Child Left Behind Act five years ago, shining a spotlight on our achievement gap and creating accountability for the schools that serve our students.
The Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind report “Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nations’ Children” released today illustrates the broad, bipartisan commitment to improving our nation’s schools that was behind the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Commission’s recommendations recognize the solid foundation built by NCLB and reaffirm the law’s core principles including accountability, high standards and having all students reading and doing math at grade level by 2014.
The report supports many of the key proposals advanced in President Bush's “Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act” that was released last month. I am encouraged that the Commission addressed embedding growth models in the law to measure student achievement over time, the pressing need for highly qualified teachers in every classroom, and more significant interventions and critical resources for schools that are chronically underperforming.
Co-chairs Secretary Tommy Thompson and Gov. Roy Barnes have my gratitude for their dedication to reauthorizing and improving the law. I welcome their help in moving the renewal process forward. I also look forward to working with them and their colleagues in the coming weeks and months as we urge Congress to reauthorize the law. There is no better time than now to recommit to educating all of America’s students.
This morning the Aspen Institute Commission on NCLB released its report on reauthorizing the law. It is quite awful. Below is FairTest's react we are just now sending to the media. The report has many, many other flaws.
- you can access the report at www.nclbcommission.org - if you don't have lots of time, look for recommendations (75 of them) down the list of chapters you can download, as well as the exec summary.
Here is the FT news release:
FairTest____________________ National Center for Fair & Open Testing
for more information:
Dr. Monty Neill (617) 864-4810
Robert Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
ASPEN COMMISSION PROPOSALS ARE “NCLB ON STEROIDS;”
SIDE-EFFECT WILL BE MORE “TEACHING TO THE TESTS”
REACTION OF MONTY NEILL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAIR & OPEN TESTING (FairTest)
The Aspen Commission's recommendations for reauthorizing the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, released today, amount to little more than NCLB on steroids.
Their predictable side-effect will be the further reduction of education to coaching for narrow exams that fail to support or assess high-quality student learning.
While the Commission claims that the public now accepts NCLB, numerous state and national surveys find that educators overwhelmingly reject the test-and- punish dictates of the law while parents reject the side effects of teaching to the test. The more the public knows about the law, the more they oppose it.
The Commission report contains numerous examples of flawed logic, unreasonable requirements and bad policy. These include:
- Using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers and principals. This will only intensify teaching to the test, narrowing and dumbing-down education most severely for the nation’s neediest children.
- Creating multiple additional ways for schools to fail by mandating that science scores count in AYP and that subgroup scores count toward accountability when subgroup size reaches 20 – a number so small as to guarantee statistically inaccurate results.
- Making assessment and accountability for students with disabilities more rigid, countering a demand by parents that their children be included in ways that are flexible and reasonable.
- Encouraging uniform state tests, which will pave the way to reducing education to preparation for one national test instead of many different state tests
Our nation deserves a federal law that encourages a rich education for all rather than mindless test-preparation. A more rational approach is found in the Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind, now endorsed by 106 national education, civil rights, religious, disability and civic organizations. Follow-up reports with detailed recommendations will soon be released by the Forum on Educational Accountability, a working group of the Joint Statement signers.
The Joint Statement and other information on the failures of NCLB may be found at www.fairtest.org.
Monty Neill, Ed.D.
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-864-4810 fax 617-497-2224