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Department Issues Statement Regarding Report by National Conference of State Legislatures

February 23, 2005 Contact: Susan Aspey
(202) 401-1576

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Ray Simon released the following statement regarding today's report by The National Conference of State Legislatures' Task Force on No Child Left Behind:

"The goal of No Child Left Behind is to help all students achieve-regardless of their skin color, spoken accent or street address. States set out yearly goals to help ensure that all their children are reading and doing math at grade level. The law, just three years old, is already working: there have been improvements in states across the nation and the pernicious achievement gap that has existed for decades is finally starting to close.

"The Department will continue to work with every state to address their concerns and make this law work for their children. But the report could be interpreted as wanting to reverse the progress we've made. President Bush, Secretary Spellings and the team at the Department of Education believe that every child can learn. Children must be challenged to reach their full potential, not told to settle for someone else's lowered expectations. No Child Left Behind is bringing new hope and new opportunity to families throughout America, and we will not reverse course."

— Press Release
U. S. Department of Education


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