lfalen lfalen at turbonet.com
Thu May 17 10:06:09 PDT 2007

-----Original message-----

From: "Crapo News Release \(Crapo\)" newsclips at crapo.senate.gov
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 11:46:58 -0700

FOR RELEASE 	                	CONTACT:           Susan Wheeler
(202) 224-5150
Week of May 20, 2007		  	    Laura Thurston Goodroe (202)

		Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

As a parent, it never ceases to amaze me how different my children are.
They have different likes and dislikes, different personalities and
different goals and interests.  It's no surprise that their learning
styles vary as well.  If five children in the same family require
different things in a school setting to help them succeed, then an
education system that caters to millions of children from millions of
families must have considerable flexibility to meet the needs of many
different students.  Although federal public education funding plays a
relatively minor role compared to state funding (just over ten percent
of Idaho's K - 12 public education is funded by the federal government),
federal programs and standards must allow individual school districts
the utmost flexibility in local implementation.  

Today, five years after the passage of the landmark education
legislation, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), we have met with many
successes:  more reading progress was made among nine-year-olds between
1999 and 2004 than in the prior 28 years; and, between 2003 and 2005,
the majority of states improved or held steady in all categories of
fourth graders tested in reading and math.  But, NCLB works the same as
any other sweeping legislation-real effectiveness can only be determined
after a period of implementation.  Now, it's clear that improvements are
in order.  I've been working with stakeholder groups in Idaho and at the
national level to identify the most critical components that, with
improvement, will help our nation's children.  Above all, the federal
government cannot be allowed to become what amounts to a national school
board.  Often, federal funding comes with federal strings attached.
These one-size-fits-all solutions are not a good idea.  To try to move
back in the direction of more local control, I've introduced
enhancements under the appropriate name "Improving No Child Left Behind
(INCLB)."  This legislation preserves the hallmark elements of
NCLB-student achievement and accountability-while offering changes to
the guidelines and methods by which school districts are assessed.  Five
years of experience with NCLB has highlighted the importance of
flexibility and local control in assessment guidelines and mandates.

Some of the elements of INCLB include:

	*  Supplemental services like tutoring, offered sooner than
currently 	available;
	*  Flexibility for states to use additional types of assessment
models to 	measure student progress;
	*  More flexibility for states in assessing students with
	*  More fair and accurate assessments of students with Limited
English 	Proficiency;
	*  The creation of a student testing participation range, making
allowances 	for 	uncontrollable variations in student attendance;
	*  Only applying sanctions when the same student group fails to
make progress 	in the same subject for two consecutive years-this would
allow the schools to 	better target improvement 	resources;
	*  Ensuring accurate student counts in assessment and reporting

Over the years, Idaho public schools have sown the seeds for my
children's academic, athletic and social achievement and success, by
addressing their individual learning needs.  The federal government must
do all it can to help schools do this, and refrain from enforcing
regulations that hinder the process.  School districts, like students,
find unique paths to success.  These styles are developed based on the
composition and needs of the local community.  It's the job of the
Federal government, in its role of supporting a strong public education
system, to respect these rich variations and encourage school success by
promoting the same.  


To link directly to this news release, please go to:

This is generated from an unattended mailbox.  If you have constituent
comments or information you would like forwarded to Senator Crapo,
please do so at the Senator's website, http://crapo.senate.gov.
Comments sent to this e-mail address will not be responded to.
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