][Thread Next][Author Index
Paige Promotes NCLB "Progress"
- To: ARN Main List <firstname.lastname@example.org>, arn2-strategy <email@example.com>
- Subject: Paige Promotes NCLB "Progress"
- From: Bob Schaeffer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 12:58:13 -0400
- User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.0.2) Gecko/20021120 Netscape/7.01
FEDERAL EDUCATION SECRETARY CITES PROGRESS
ROD PAIGE TELLS TEACHERS AT A PORTLAND CONFERENCE THAT IMPROVEMENTS ARE
COMING WITH NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
The Oregonian -- June 30, 2004
by Steven Carter
U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige said Tuesday that the No Child Left
Behind law is beginning to show results. He dismissed critics who
contend it should be abandoned or radically changed.
"Anytime you have big changes, you are going to have complaints," Paige
said during a Portland visit. "A lot of good things are going on."
Paige, a Bush appointee, dropped in on a U.S. Department of Education
workshop on effective teaching practices. Speaking to about 200 teachers
from around the nation, he praised their work and said that to make them
more effective, the department will spend about $5 billion next year to
improve teacher quality.
Outside the Portland Marriott Downtown meeting, however, a noisy group
of Oregon teachers waved picket signs and complained No Child Left
Behind is underfunded and too rigid. The Oregon Education Association,
the state teachers union, issued a statement calling the conference a
"thinly veiled political tool to promote President Bush" during an
Paige denied he was making a political appearance and said it was a
coincidence that Treasury Secretary John Snow was in Portland the same day.
The No Child Left Behind law, enacted in 2001, requires students to be
tested annually in reading and math, and schools to boost academic
performance so that all students meet state benchmarks by 2014. Schools
must demonstrate annual progress toward that goal for all groups of
students, including minority, disabled and limited-English students.
Paige dismisses complaints
Paige, in a news conference later, said some educators are complaining
about the law because, for the first time, there are serious
consequences for schools and districts where performance doesn't improve.
"We need to stay the course and not water down the law," Paige said.
He told the teachers that the law appears to be making a difference.
Reading test scores among fourth-graders had been flat for years despite
increasing amounts of federal support to schools. But in the past two
years, Paige said, there has been modest improvement.
"I see the corner being turned somewhat in student achievement," Paige
said. "The trend is up. More important, we see even more dramatic
increases in the big urban areas."
The two-day workshop brought teachers from 37 states to hear
presentations from other teachers who have improved student performance,
sometimes in difficult circumstances. It is the second of seven
teacher-to-teacher workshops the department is sponsoring. The federal
Education Department pays conference fees and lodging for participants.
Some questions about law
Cheryl Wester, a special education teacher from Crescent City, Calif.,
said she got valuable tips on teaching reading and writing to her students.
"It's been very informative, very inspiring," she said.
But she questioned whether all students could achieve her state's
academic standards in 10 years, as required by the act.
Jan Pearce, a Lake Oswego elementary schoolteacher who was among
protesters outside the hotel, said the No Child Left Behind law is good
in theory but bad in practice. Why should schools in her district be
labeled as not making adequate yearly progress when Lake Oswego has some
of the highest college-entrance exam scores in the state, she asked.
"I think," she said, "this law has the potential to dismantle public
Post a Message to arn-l: