January 22, 2007

â??IMPROVING NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACTâ?? INTRODUCED

Crapo bill enhances process of assessing student progress

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has introduced legislation to build upon the success of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) by allowing schools, students, and teachers additional flexibilities under the law. Crapoâ??s bill, the Improving No Child Left Behind Act, incorporates improvements suggested by educators and administrators, both in Idaho and at the national level. The bill will be referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for consideration.â??While the education reforms in the No Child Left Behind Act have had measurable positive effects on many students across the country, it is always useful to review opportunities to make needed improvements,â?? Crapo observed. â??With the help of a number of education professionals in Idaho and throughout the country, we have identified a number of common-sense modifications to the current law, changes that will keep our objective of ensuring that every child achieves his or her potential in the classroom. These provisions preserve the major focus on student achievement and accountability and, at the same time, ensure that schools and school districts are accurately and fairly assessed. The act ensures that local schools and districts have more flexibility and control in educating our nationâ??s children. The goal of the act is expressed in its name: to improve No Child Left Behind.â?? Crapo worked with the Idaho School Boards Association, the Idaho Education Association and the Idaho Department of Education as well as educators at the federal level on the recommended changes contained in the INCLB legislation. He heard concerns over the assessment of sub-population groups in the yearly assessment of overall school progress, student participation percentage requirements for schools, and students being placed in more than one sub-group when being tested for annual yearly progress of that school. The INCLB bill would: Allow supplemental services like tutoring to be offered to students sooner than currently available.Provide flexibility for states to use additional types of assessment models on student progress.Grant states more flexibility in assessing students with disabilities.Ensure more fair and accurate assessments of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students.Create a student testing participation range, providing flexibility for variations in student attendance.# # #