STATEMENT OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY ON ANNOUNCEMENT OF SECRETARY MARGARET SPELLINGS ON NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
I applaud Secretary Spellings' continued efforts to work with states, schools and teachers to find effective approaches to carry out the No Child Left Behind Act. Much can be learned from measuring student growth. When done the right way, these models can move school reform forward by reviewing progress made by individual students from year to year and ensuring continuous progress toward challenging academic standards. This pilot program and the evaluation of its results will help our efforts in Congress to improve upon the law during the upcoming reauthorization.
But as this pilot program moves forward, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure that accountability systems continue to ensure that all students count, regardless of their background - - and that we make progress in closing achievement gaps. We must not undermine our goal of leaving no child behind.I hope that as the Secretary moves forward, she'll demand the most rigorous criteria and standards for participation in this pilot project. We owe it to America's children to ensure that their schools are held accountable to meeting the high standards that Congress set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act.