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NEA Comments on CEP Report Tracking Student Achievement Since NCLB

Weaver: Despite No Child Left Behind, educators and states' efforts are making a difference

WASHINGTON - June 24, 2008 -

A report released today by the Center on Education Policy examined student achievement data since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind law, noting a positive shift in the achievement gaps and state test scores.

Although the report detected some shifting in reading and mathematics test scores in some states, the authors strongly caution against jumping to any conclusions about the impact NCLB may be having on student test scores because of efforts many states and local school districts had undertaken to improve student achievement prior to NCLB.

The caution noted in the report is in line with a report by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University in June 2006, which concluded that NCLB did not have a significant impact on improving reading and math achievement across the nation and states, and it had not helped significantly narrow the achievement gap.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Reg Weaver:

"The report seems to confirm that despite six years of being saddled with the fundamentally flawed and overly prescriptive federal No Child Left Behind law, educators, school administrators and local school districts are making a difference in increasing student achievement.

"Imagine what would happen to student test scores if educators and local school districts didn't have to teach in the test, label and punish regime established under NCLB. Think for a second about what would happen if the law didn't force educators to view students as standardized test scores.

"The American public is ready for a new era in K-12 education, one that prepares all students for success with 21st century skills and the critical knowledge to succeed in our changing world, and gives educators the freedom to teach every child."

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Miguel Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823