Education Reform: No Child Left Behind

White House Fact Sheet

This excerpt is from the official White House fact sheet.

On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Actthe most sweeping reform of federal education policy in a generation. The legislation, which closely follows the President's agenda to improve America's public schools, passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan majorities.

Accountability for Results
Creates strong standards in each state for what every child should know and learn in reading and math in grades 3-8. Student progress and achievement will be measured for every child, every year.

  • Results from these tests will be made available in annual report cards so parents can measure school performance and statewide progress, evaluate the quality of their child's school, the qualifications of teachers, and their child's progress in key subjects.

  • Statewide reports will show progress for all student groups in closing achievement gaps between disadvantaged students and other groups of students.

  • Schools will be held accountable for improving performance of all student groups, so every school will be performing at proficient levels within 12 years.

Unprecedented State & Local Flexibility & Reduced Red Tape
Provides new flexibility for all 50 states and every local school district in America in the use of federal education funds.

  • Every local school district in America and all 50 states will receive the freedom to target up to 50 of federal non-Title I dollars to programs that will have the most positive impact on the students they serve.

  • The new law consolidates and streamlines programs and targets resources to existing programs that serve poor students, reducing the overall number of ESEA programs from 55 to 45.

Focusing Resources on Proven Educational Methods
Focuses educational dollars on proven, research-based approaches that will most help children to learn.

  • Implements President Bush's Reading First initiative by increasing federal funding for reading programs from $300 million in FY 2001 to more than $900 million in FY 2002, and tying federal funding to the use of scientifically-proven methods of reading instruction.

  • Implements a new Early Reading First program to support early language, literacy, and
    pre-reading development of preschool-age children, particularly those from low-income families.

  • Strengthens teacher quality by providing $2.8 billion for teacher quality programs and allowing local school districts to use additional federal funds to hire new teachers, increase teacher pay, improve teacher training and development, or other uses.

Expanded Choices for Parents
Enhances options for parents with children in chronically failing schools, and makes these options available immediately in the 2002-03 school year for students in thousands of schools already identified as failing under current law.

  • Public/Charter School Choice: Once a school is identified as failing, parents will be allowed to transfer their child to a better-performing public or charter school.

  • Supplemental Services: For the first time, federal Title I funds (approximately $500 to $1,000 per child) can be used to provide supplemental educational services-including tutoring, after school services, and summer school programs-for children in failing schools. Services can be provided by faith- and community-based organizations.

  • Charter Schools: Expands the charter school initiative, creating more opportunities for parents, educators, and interested community leaders to create schools outside the education establishment.

Complete report.

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