President sets table for changes to No Child Left Behind

Taking a break from the health care debate, President Obama discussed the topic of education in his latest Weekly Address. Specifically, President Obama outlined his administration’s plans to make changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (otherwise known as “No Child Left Behind”).

“[O]n Monday, my administration will send to Congress our blueprint for an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act to overhaul No Child Left Behind. What this plan recognizes is that while the federal government can play a leading role in encouraging the reforms and high standards we need, the impetus for that change will come from states, and from local schools and school districts. So, yes, we set a high bar – but we also provide educators the flexibility to reach it. Under these guidelines, schools that achieve excellence or show real progress will be rewarded, and local districts will be encouraged to commit to change in schools that are clearly letting their students down. For the majority of schools that fall in between – schools that do well but could do better – we will encourage continuous improvement to help keep our young people on track for a bright future: prepared for the jobs of the 21st Century. And because the most important factor in a child’s success is the person standing at the front of the classroom, we will better prepare teachers, support teachers, and encourage teachers to stay in the field. In short, we’ll treat the people who educate our sons and daughters like the professionals they are.”

The House Committee on Labor and Education reports that Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is scheduled to appear on Wednesday, March 17, to further discuss changes to No Child Left Behind.

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