EXITING AS HE ENTERED: President Bush Uses Last Policy Speech as President to Observe NCLB’s Seventh Anniversary and Encourage Congress to Reauthorize the Law: On January 23, 2001, three days after his inauguration, George W. Bush delivered his first policy speech as president of the United States and outlined the ideas and principals behind what would become the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). “We’ve got one thing in mind,” Bush said, “an education system that’s responsive to the children, an education system that educates every child, an education system that I’m confident can exist; one that’s based upon sound fundamental curriculum, one that starts teaching children to read early in life, one that focuses on systems that do work, one that heralds our teachers and makes sure they’ve got the necessary tools to teach, but one that says every child can learn. And in this great land called America, no child will be left behind.”
BENCHMARKING FOR SUCCESS: New Report Calls on State Leaders to Look to Highest-Performing Nations When Reforming Education Systems: If state leaders want to ensure that their citizens and economies remain competitive in the new global economy, they must look beyond America’s borders and benchmark their education systems with the best in the world. So says Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education, a new report by the International Benchmarking Advisory Group.
THE FORGOTTEN MIDDLE: Students Not on College- and Work-Readiness Track by Eighth Grade Less Likely to Graduate Prepared, Says ACT Report: The level of academic achievement students reach by eighth grade has a greater impact on their college- and work-readiness than anything that happens academically in high school. Unfortunately, most eighth graders are not on track to be college- and work-ready upon graduation, according to The Forgotten Middle: Ensuring that All Students Are on Target for College and Career Readiness before High School, a new report from ACT.
STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESSES: North Dakota and New York at Opposite Ends of the Financial Crisis: The December 15, 2008 issue of Straight A’s details how the economic turmoil has hit state budgets and cites research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that finds that all but a “handful” of states will face budget shortfalls (not enough revenue to cover expenses) that are projected to total more than $100 billion in Fiscal Year 2010, which, for most states, will begin on July 1, 2009.