|For Immediate Release|
|Tuesday, May 7, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106 or Jonathan Palumbo 781-338-3105|
Commissioner Driscoll Selected To Discuss NCLB With President Bush
MALDEN - Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll was one of five education commissioners hand-picked to meet with President Bush, Education Secretary Rod Paige and national business leaders at the White House today to discuss how businesses and schools can collaborate to implement the No Child Left Behind Act.
During the hour-long meeting in the Roosevelt Room, President Bush noted specific progress being made in Massachusetts, and complimented the efforts of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Governor Jane Swift.
"Both President Bush and Secretary Paige reiterated their commitment to this law, and that they do not intend to back off," said Commissioner Driscoll. "It’s clear that there is a sense of national urgency to improve public education so that no more children go through our school systems without gaining the critical skills they need."
Also at the meeting was Connecticut Commissioner Theodore S. Sergi, North Carolina Commissioner Michael E. Ward, Tennessee Commissioner Faye Taylor, and Arkansas Commissioner Raymond Joseph Simon.
The group discussed the different aspects of the multi-faceted law, and ways to work in partnership with large businesses to ensure full implementation.
Last month Governor Jane Swift also met in Washington with Secretary Paige and several other Bush Administration education officials to offer Massachusetts as a national model on standardized testing and early childhood education initiatives.
"I'm very pleased that President Bush saw fit to include David Driscoll in this very select group of education experts," Gov. Swift said. "Commissioner Driscoll’s participation speaks volumes for the progress we've made in Massachusetts on our MCAS initiative and our overall excellence in K-12 education."
No Child Left Behind was signed into legislation by President Bush in January, and seeks to help states and school districts develop strong systems of accountability based upon the performance of all students. 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 and state officials.