United States Education Secretary Margaret Spellings tells members of the
Missouri State Board of Education that she hopes No Child Left Behind is reauthorized this year, but if not, she wants to build upon its progress anyway.
Spellings has made Missouri the 11th state she has visited in an effort to sell the Bush Administration initiative and seek input on changes that might be made to it.
"The way I capture where we are in education is to say we are pleased, but not satisfied," Spellings tells the State Board during its regular monthly meeting in Jefferson City.
Spellings has outlined five key issues for No Child Left Behind: giving schools credit for progress toward goals, providing a more nuanced approach to accountability, concentrating more on high school, helping recruit and retain good teachers and providing adequate resources.
No Child Left Behind has been up for re-authorization the past two years. Congress hasn’t acted on the six-year-old initiative. Spellings says there is a chance it could be re-authorized this year, because there is consensus on its core values. Still, she acknowledges that a presidential election year makes passage uncertain. Spellings says she will continue to push its goals, even if it doesn’t receive re-authorization.
Each of the board members present was able to ask questions or provide input during Spellings visit. Some expressed concern about teacher shortages, whether the act provides a holistic approach to education and flexibility of the act.