02.08.07

ENZI: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND RENEWAL MUST GIVE SCHOOLS FLEXIBLITY TO MEET UNIQUE NEEDS, BUILD KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS LOCAL STUDENTS NEED IN GLOBAL MARKETPLACE

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today said he is encouraged by the bipartisan commitment to reauthorize the “No Child Left Behind Act “(NCLB), which he called “vital to ensure that American students and workers have the knowledge and skills to be successful in the global economy of the 21st century,” and pledged to ensure that no rural school is left behind as the landmark law is renewed as part of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act. Enzi’s remarks came as The HELP Committee held a Roundtable titled “NCLB Reauthorization: Strategies that Promote School Improvement,” to examine how school improvement strategies implemented since NCLB’s enactment five years ago have been effective at the state, district, and local school levels. He stressed the importance of examining the impact of NCLB implementation on rural school districts, saying, “No Child Left Behind should include the flexibility and focus to encourage improvement and achievement in all school districts. “In five years under NCLB, we have seen major improvements in student achievement all across America, but there is still work to be done to ensure that the Department of Education, the states and local communities are able to work together and continue to focus on the needs of students,” Enzi said “There is no silver bullet when it comes to school improvement.. We must ensure that every school, whether a rural school, an inner city school, or a suburban school, is able to implement NCLB in manner that meets its unique needs.” Enzi said he will work in a bipartisan way to renew and improve NCLB to give schools and districts the flexibility and focus they need to implement the provisions of NCLB most effectively. “The next step is to determine how we can help schools that are faltering and how we can best give them the tools and resources they need to implement strategies toimprove student performance,” he said. “Every school and school district in this country is unique and has different areas in need of improvement.” “I am pleased that we were able to hold this Round Table to learn the strategies that states and local communities have utilized within the framework of NCLB to best fulfill their mission and enhance student achievement,” Enzi added. “Renewal of No Child Left Behind and other important elementary and secondary school programs represents a test the 110th Congress must pass, if we are to meet the growing challenge of global competition.” ####

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