HD Committee Approves Education Reform Policy

Article excerpt

The Human Development (HD) Steering Committee tentatively approved new NLC policy on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, in light of its scheduled 2007 reauthorization.

President Bush signed NCLB in January 2002. It was designed to dramatically reform public education. Congress included several key reforms in the act, including requirements for highly qualified teachers, annual testing of students in reading and math, standards by which schools must demonstrate "adequate yearly progress" or be identified as "schools in need of improvement," and corrective actions that include public school choice, provision of supplemental services and/or restructuring of the school if necessary.

Guided by HD Chair Karen Geraghty, council member, Portland, Maine, the HD Steering Committee endorsed the following core recommendations.

* NLC supports the basic goals of the current federal education law, which strives to close the achievement gap by ensuring that all children are learning basic skills and meeting high academic standards. However, Congress must reform the law for greater effectiveness.

* NLC supports the use of standards and testing as necessary tools, but the federal government must continually work with states and local governments to develop the most flexible, reliable and valid methods of assessment and accountability, especially for students with special education needs and limited English proficiency. …