07.12.07

Burr Introduces No Child Left Behind Reauthorization

Bill improves and strengthens original legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U. S. Senator Richard Burr today introduced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2007 with Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire). This legislation builds on and improves the original No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The bill preserves the basic tenets of No Child Left Behind while responding to the legitimate concerns parents, teachers, and principles have raised regarding the original legislation.

"We must not turn away from what we began when we passed the original No Child Left Behind bill. The stakes are too high for both our children and the nation," Burr said. "In the ever competitive global economy, all our children, not just the lucky or the fortunate, must be equipped with the academic skills needed to succeed. I urge the Senate to pass this No Child Left Behind legislation quickly so that we may once and for all close the achievement gap."

The bill maintains the goal that all children will reach grade-level proficiency in reading and math by 2013-2014, keeps in place annual testing in grades 3 through 8 and at the high school level, and maintains an accountability system rooted in state standards and state assessments. The bill's accountability measures remain focused on grade-level achievement in math and reading.

Additionally, the bill would streamline the accountability timeline to make it easier for schools to develop and implement plans to improve student achievement and to focus on what matters most—teaching and learning. It would also expand options available to parents and place a greater emphasis on teacher quality.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2007 puts a greater emphasis on high school education and graduation by including the Graduate for a Better Future Act, which Burr introduced earlier this year in response to the nation's high school dropout crisis. Funds from the act will be used to create models of excellence for academically rigorous high schools; implement accelerated academic catch-up programs for students who enter high school behind in skills; put in place an early warning system to quickly identify students at risk of dropping out of high school; and establish programs that offer students opportunities in job-shadowing, internships, and community service so that they are better able to make connections between what they are learning in school and how it applies in the workplace.

"To remain competitive in the global economy it is critical that all America's children graduate from high school with the skills to succeed in college and the workforce," Burr said.