Senate Democrats

Reid: No Child Left Behind Must Be Overhauled To Help Every Student Succeed

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to the President’s remarks on No Child Left Behind:

“Six years after the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act, it is clear that the law needs to be overhauled.  When Congress joined President Bush in 2002 to usher in a dramatic reform of our nation’s schools, we were hopeful that increased accountability and performance standards, together with a significant increase in the federal investment in education, would raise student achievement levels.

“Accountability measures have proven far too punitive, with no recognition for schools that have made incremental progress.  States have been given little flexibility in implementing the law’s requirements.  And NCLB has been vastly under funded since it was first enacted – the President recently vetoed the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that would have provided an increase to Title I and other programs authorized by NCLB.

“As Congress looks to reauthorize this law, we must do more than simply improve NCLB.  It is essential that we work to ensure that a reauthorization builds on the positive aspects of the law, addresses the concerns about its implementation and provides new approaches that schools will need to ensure that every student succeeds.”