Issue Position: Strengthening Education - Fully Fund and Make Important Improvements to No Child Left Behind
The Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind Act, signed in January 2002, made many promises to America's children and made many demands of their teachers and schools. NCLB required students to be subjected to standardized tests every school year from grades 3-8. Schools which failed to meet federal standards based on these exams were sanctioned.
To justify these new "accountability" measures NCLB promised schools new funding and added resources to ensure this new promise of a better education. New York City schools have tried to hold up their end of the bargain and have been testing their students annually. But the schools were never given the money they were promised.
Title I-A provides federal aid specifically for disadvantaged students. It is the largest federal education program, making up over half of NCLB spending. I have found that in the 2007 federal budget the actual grants to New York City schools for Title IA funding fell $973,416,900 short of what NYC schools were promised by Congress. This brings the total NYC shortfall from FY2003 to FY2008 in Title I-A funding close to $3.3 billion. NYC schools can't meet the demands of NCLB without the resources.
My plan for public education requires that we fully fund NCLB. Additionally, we must learn from our teachers, principals, and families. Teachers have told me that the NCLB testing regime takes time away from teaching and doesn't even accurately measure student's progress. We need a national test which would accurately measure individual student's performance from year to year. Principals have told me about the difficultly of finding quality educators to put in every classroom. Unfortunately many teachers struggle with low salary We must make teaching an economically attractive profession and pay teachers what they deserve.