January 8, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Seventh Anniversary of No Child Left Behind
Today is the seven-year anniversary of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) being signed into law.
WASHINGTON–The seven-year anniversary of No Child Left Behind is no cause for celebration. For the past seven years, NCLB has become a stand-in for real discussions about a robust education policy that prepares children for the 21st century.
The AFT wholeheartedly agrees with what President-elect Obama has said repeatedly about this law: that its goals-high standards, an excellent teacher for every child, and closing the achievement gap-are the right ones, but that schools need to be supported in order to make this happen.
The AFT looks forward to working with a new Congress and administration to ensure that this law is retooled and reauthorized to provide real solutions for closing the achievement gap. Focusing on collaboration with teachers, parents and community partners; building capacity; and creating community schools-i.e., schools that offer a variety of wraparound services, including tutoring, recreational and social service programs-are three great ways to start. If the law can reflect these ideas, then we can truly help all schools offer every child a rigorous, well-rounded education that prepares him or her for college, work and life.
# # # #
The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.