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President seeks to build on law's results: no child left behind up for renewal this fall.

In September, congressional committees are expected to begin significant work on reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Through continued bipartisan support, President George W. Bush is looking to improve on provisions of the law that have drawn concern while strengthening those measures that already have proven successful in the nation's schools over the last five years. According to recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, achievement gaps in reading and math between African-American and Hispanic nine-year-olds and their white peers have fallen to all-time lows.

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"The economy is going to demand brain power as we head into the 21st century; therefore, now is the time to make sure that our fourth-graders can read, write, and add and subtract, that our eighth-graders are more proficient in math, and that when you graduate from high school, your diploma means something. The best place to start is to measure. And when you see a problem, fix it before it's too late," President Bush said at the American Legislative Exchange Council in July, referring to NCLB's requirements for annual testing in grades 3-8 and once at the high school level.

The president's reauthorization proposal, Building on Results, maintains the law's accountability system of state standards and assessments for working toward the goal of every child reading and doing math at grade level by 2014.

Meanwhile, it would introduce a number of teacher and parent initiatives in response to concerns expressed since the original legislation was enacted in 2001, including: the Teacher Incentive Fund, which would seek to reward educators who make progress in raising student achievement; and Promise scholarships to afford private school choice, inter-public school transfers or intensive tutoring for low-income families with students in schools undergoing restructuring.

The proposal also puts a greater emphasis on high school graduation in response to the nation's high school dropout crisis, by requiring states to report a more accurate graduation rate and to work with colleges and businesses to better align the high school curriculum with the requirements of higher education and employers.
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Title Annotation:George W. Bush
Publication:The Achiever
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:343
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