Cantor Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education Decision
Washington , DC- Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) released the following statement today on the 50th anniversary of the
Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended segregation in schools:
"Fifty years ago, the Brown v. Board of Education decision ended segregation by exposing the doctrine of 'separate but equal' as unconstitutional. While explicit segregation ended, a soft bigotry of lowered expectations set in to our educational system.
"That is the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act - to hold the education system accountable for results and provide parents with choices when their children's schools fail them.
"An achievement gap between white students and African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students has persisted for years. But with the accountability standards set in No Child Left Behind, closing the achievement gap between students is now a national priority. Schools are now responsible for the annual progress of all students.
"No Child Left Behind requires states and school districts to give parents easy-to-read, detailed report cards on schools and districts, telling them which ones are succeeding and why. Schools that do not meet state-set standards for two years in a row are identified as 'in need of improvement' and parents must be offered the option of sending their children to another public school in the district. Schools that do not meet state standards for three years must also offer free tutoring or other academic enrichment services to low-income students.
"In an April Chicago Sun-Times analysis, Chicago public school children who transferred from schools in need of improvement to higher performing schools under No Child Left Behind showed substantial improvements in reading and math scores.
"These transfer students averaged an 8 percent greater learning gain in reading and math than the national average-compared
to their original school where the previous year their gains were 24 percent less in reading and 17 percent less in math than the national average. That is a huge turnaround.
"No Child Left Behind is fulfilling the promise of Brown v. Board of Education by closing the achievement gap and creating an equal and accountable educational system."