Some Michigan lawmakers are concerned that the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act is requiring too much of schools, without giving them the resources to improve.
Members of the Michigan House and Senate Education Committees heard testimony Thursday from U.S. Education Undersecretary Gene Hickock.
Hickock says "No Child Left Behind" is relatively new, and states need to see what works and what doesn't.
Here in Michigan some democratic members of the committee say it doesn't work in its current form. "No Child Left Behind" requires schools to meet adequate yearly progress in math and reading. But legislators say if schools fail, they are labeled as failing, but not helped enough to improve.
Nearly a dozen states across the U.S. are considering forgoing federal education dollars so they don't have to comply with the act. The federal government spends more than $30 billion a year on education.
wilx.com Extended Web Coverage
No Child Left Behind
On Jan. 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This new law represents his education reform plan, and made many changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was enacted in 1965.
The act contains the President's four basic education reform 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.
Here is a description of the four basic education reform principles in No Child Left Behind:
Stronger Accountability for Results
States are responsible for having strong academic standards for what every child should know and learn in reading, math, and science for elementary, middle and high schools.
Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, schools must administer tests in each of three grade spans: grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools. Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, tests must be administered every year in grades 3 through 8. Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, science achievement must also be tested.
Record Flexibility for States and Communities
The new law gives all 50 states and every local school district in America greater say in using the federal education dollars they receive every year.
Concentrating Resources on Proven Education Methods
No Child Left Behind will target education dollars to research-based programs that have been proven to help most children learn.
More Choices for Parents
No Child Left Behind offers many new ways to help students, schools, and teachers. It also gives parents options for helping their children if they are enrolled in schools chronically identified as in need of improvement. In fact these new parental choices will be available starting in the 2002-03 school year for students already enrolled in schools that have been identified as in need of improvement under current law.
Source: http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/next/overview/index.html (No Child Left Behind Web Site) contributed to this report