Education Reform

No Child Left Behind

Signed by Congress in December 2001 and by President Bush in January 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act is the most extensive reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) since it was enacted in 1965. The Act redefines the federal role in K-12 education in an effort to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers. It is based on four basic principles: stronger accountability for results; increased flexibility and local control; expanded options for parents; and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.

  • Spellings Hails New National Report Card Results
    July 2005
    Margaret Spellings was appointed the 8th U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2005. Spellings released the following statement regarding the 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trends in Academic Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card.

  • Spellings Announces New Special Education Guidelines
    May 2005
    U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the details of a new No Child Left Behind policy designed to help states better assist students with disabilities.

  • White House Fact Sheet

    This excerpt is from the official White House fact sheet.

  • Statement from Senator Kennedy

    Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who has represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate since 1962, is one of the authors of the No Child Left Behind Act. This excerpt is from a speech he delivered at Boston Latin School on January 8, 2002, in which he introduced the President to the audience and offered his own views on education reform.

  • An Update by Senator Kennedy, July 18, 2003

  • Statement from President Bush

    President George W. Bush spoke at Boston Latin School on January 8, 2002, upon the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act. In this excerpt from his speech, the President outlines his views on education reform in front an audience of students, parents, and faculty.

  • Statement from John Merrow

    John Merrow is the host of The Merrow Report, a documentary series on education that aired on PBS and NPR. He is also the correspondent on Frontline's Testing Our Schools. In his commentary, Merrow questions if President Bush's education plan offers enough incentive to improve failing schools.

  • Statement from Marian Wright Edelman

    Marian Wright Edelman is founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, a private, Washington-based organization that advocates for disadvantaged children and families. This statement was written in response to President Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address.