Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., one of the four lawmakers central to the renewal of the No Child Left Behind education law, is focusing on how the law impacts rural schools while at the same time upholding the law’s core principles. Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jim McBride, submitted a list of recommendations for Congress to consider as it continues hearings, roundtables and gets set to vote in committee on reauthorizing No Child Left Behind. The recommendations include increased funding, more flexibility on what makes a teacher “highly qualified”, credit for student improvement and more. “Dr. McBride and his staff put in extensive and diligent work gathering and analyzing this data from across Wyoming. I’m going to approach the renewal of this bill with the same diligence. These recommendations will give me areas to concentrate on as we look for changes that will improve the law,” said Enzi, who is ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Students are learning more as a result of the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. We’ve set high standards and added accountability for meeting those standards. It’s the 21st century. If we’re to strengthen our place in the world we’ve no choice but to insist on high standards and hard work.” Enzi and HELP Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., have planned a roundtable for tomorrow where nine witnesses from across the country will discuss strategies for attracting, supporting, and retaining high quality educators. Barbara Maguire, a teacher and math instructional facilitator for Park Elementary School in Casper will be among those on the panel. March 13 the senators and their counterparts on the House Education Committee have planned a joint hearing on improving the No Child Left Behind Act. “The No Child Left Behind law has improved education in this country, but just as we ask students and schools to continually improve, they ask us to make this law better. With the help of educators and administrators like Dr. McBride, students, parents and employers, we will,” Enzi said. “One of the items I will focus on is the impact this law has on rural students and their schools. We must be wary of well-meaning legislation that could have negative unintended consequences. We are working across party lines and the Senate and House are working together to build on what we have learned over the past five years and make this law better.” ####

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