[JURIST] US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings [official profile] Tuesday unveiled new proposed regulations [materials; press release] to implement the federal No Child Left Behind Act [official website]. At a meeting of the Detroit Economic Club, Spelling said [text]:
Today, more than 50 years after Brown v. the Board of Education, 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, and 25 years after A Nation at Risk, do we finally have the willpower to achieve equal opportunity in education? Do we have the courage to aim higher, and prepare every student for today's global economy?The proposed regulations would require states to use a standardized system to calculate their graduation rates, but would still allow schools leeway on how to improve graduation rates. The new regulations will also require schools to make reasonable efforts to notify parents of available tutoring programs or possibilities for switching to higher performing schools. AP has more.
I believe we do. Everywhere I go, I meet parents who are demanding change and hardworking educators who are wholeheartedly committed to achieving it. They need and deserve all the leverage we can give.
That's why today, I'm proposing new policy tools that will give families lifelines and empower educators to create dramatic improvement. Many are actions that have gained broad support through conversations on how to strengthen No Child Left Behind. While I will continue working with legislators to renew this law, I also realize that students and families and teachers and schools need help now.
So, at the President's request, I'm moving forward to empower educators to take actions that families have been waiting for. The Detroit News has called for "bulldozers" to tear down barriers to reform. Today, I'm delivering policy bulldozers that will do just that.
Last month, Spellings announced [speech text; JURIST report] a new pilot program [press release] under the Act aimed at narrowing statewide education reform to focus on schools most in need of "dramatic intervention."