Biggert, Davis Hold No Child Left Behind Hearing
U.S. Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) and Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7th, the only members of the Illinois Congressional delegation who serve on the House Education and Workforce Committee, and a panel of education experts today evaluated the successes and challenges of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), signed into law by President Bush in 2002.
Biggert and Davis led the hearing, which is part of a series of NCLB hearings being held by the Committee. Panelists testifying at the Chicago hearing today included:
· Mr. Arne Duncan, CEO, Chicago Public Schools
· Dr. Henry Johnson, Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
· Dr. Paul Kimmelman, Senior Adviser, Learning Point Associates of Naperville, Illinois
· Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti, Ed.D, Regional Superintendent, DuPage Regional Office of Education
· Ms. Dianne Piche, Executive Director, Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights of Washington D.C.
The Committee is reviewing key aspects of NCLB as the law heads toward reauthorization in 2007.
"In suburbs both large and small, NCLB is more than just a piece of legislation. It's a commitment to our children," said Biggert. "And to get a better sense of how the law is working across the nation - not just from the perspective of the Washington establishment - field hearings such as the one we're holding today are absolutely vital."
Davis said, "NCLB presents particular benefits and challenges to urban school districts. I am pleased that the Subcommittee will focus on Chicago's experience with NCLB as a guide to policymakers on strengthening the law to help ensure that all children succeed in school regardless of race/ethnicity, income, or ability. NCLB has offered ideas on how to improve our schools and close achievement gaps. Some of these ideas are working well and others are not. We must make certain that the reauthorization of the law considers the realities of urban districts in order to implement effective strategies to educate all children."
Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA-25th), Education Reform Subcommittee Chairman Mike Castle (R-DE-1st), and the Committee's Senior Democrat George Miller (D-CA-7th) announced the series of NCLB hearings in May. Biggert and Davis worked to ensure that Chicago would be one of the hearing sites.
The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law on January 8, 2002, focuses on accountability, flexibility and local control, funding, and expanded parental options.