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'No Child Left Behind' concerns of NCC
continue to draw a strong response
New York, April 7, 2006—“Thanks so much for your ‘Ten Moral Concerns...’,” read an email responding to a redistribution of a list of concerns about the federal government’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.
“It's the best summary I've seen of the problems inherent in the NCLB legislation,” wrote a resident of Florida on April 2.
Last November the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy issued a statement on “Ten Moral Concerns in the Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act.” Recently, excerpts of the statement were published online by the Public Education Network’s Weekly Newsblast and picked up on the Daily Kos blog.
“Christian faith speaks to public morality and the ways our nation should bring justice and compassion into its civic life,” reads the first line of the November statement. “This call to justice is central to needed reform in public education, America’s largest civic institution, where enormous achievement gaps alert us that some children have access to excellent education while other children are left behind.”
Concern about the effects of NCLB appears to be growing as sanctions for failure to raise test scores escalate year by year. The scheduled Congressional reauthorization next year is also stimulating proposals to reform the law.
“The church shares a prophetic voice of compassion that few others bring to the conversation,” said Jan Resseger, chair of the NCC public education and literacy committee. She received several responses to the statement following publication on other websites and email lists.
“Now several years into No Child Left Behind’s implementation,” says the November statement, “it is becoming clear that the law is leaving behind more children than it is saving. The children being abandoned are our nation’s most vulnerable children—children of color and poor children in America’s big cities and remote rural areas—the very children the law claims it will rescue.”
The complete “Ten Moral Concerns...” statement is available on the NCC website at http://www.ncccusa.org/pdfs/LeftBehind.html. The Public Education Network has also published an explanation of the NCLB, “Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders,” available online at http://www.publiceducation.org/pdf/nclb/nclbbook.pdf.
CONTACT NCC News: Dan Webster, www.ncccusa.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jan Resseger, Committee on Public Education and Literacy, email@example.com, 216-736-3711.
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