|For Immediate Release|
|Wednesday, January 9, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106 or Jonathan Palumbo 781-338-3105|
Commissioner Driscoll Joins President Bush in Celebration of New Education Law
MALDEN - Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll joined President Bush and state education commissioners from around the nation in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for a celebration of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
President Bush signed the historic education bill into law on Tuesday in Ohio, before stopping to speak on it at a rally at the Boston Latin School.
The education commissioners will join Bush in a rally celebrating the new law on Wednesday, and then meet with senior officials from the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday. The meetings will be held at George Washington's Mount Vernon, and will focus on the reforms in the new law, and the federal DOE's efforts to develop partnerships with states to ensure these reforms can be enacted.
The new federal law passed both houses in December.
"This law comes at a great time for us," Commissioner Driscoll said. "We are poised to take full advantage of the provisions of this new law, which will give us and our districts more flexibility in return for more accountability. This is a balance I welcome."
Under the new law, states and school districts will develop strong systems of accountability based on student performance. The new law also gives states and districts increased local control and flexibility, removing federal red tape and bureaucracy, and putting decision making in the hands of local officials.
Parents of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will also have options under the new law to participate in public school choice programs, and teachers will be encouraged to use new teaching methods based on scientific research.
Among other provisions, the new law will:
- Require states to issue annual report cards on school performance and statewide results.
- Authorize $400 million to help states design and administer tests for students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math.
- Triple the federal funding investment in reading.
- Invest nearly $3 billion in improving teacher quality this year alone, with the goal of putting a highly qualified teacher in every public school classroom by 2005.