Washington, D.C. — August 30, 2007– Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, has issued the following statement on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) staff discussion draft that House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) and Ranking Member Howard ?Buck? McKeon (R-CA) released yesterday:

?Chairman George Miller and Ranking Member Buck McKeon, along with their colleagues and staff, should be applauded for creating an open process and dialogue on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. The staff discussion draft marks a true step forward for high school reform at the federal level.

?In the past, high schools have been neglected in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Clearly, Chairman Miller and Representative McKeon are being thoughtful and deliberate in the way they approach high school policy in this reauthorization. The draft takes into consideration the research and practice that shows what is working for at-risk students in our nation?s high schools by including a new funding stream for research-based high school improvement, along with a more accurate measure of high school performance through common calculation, disaggregation, and meaningful growth in graduation rates for all students.

?Their commitment to stemming the dropout crisis is clear, but NCLB and the changes outlined in this discussion draft are complex, so while there are areas that are right on target, there are also sections that are ?in need of improvement.? Adequate funding is critical to the success of school improvement efforts, college and work readiness are essential goals that must be met, and many Titles of the bill have yet to be seen, so there are some key points on which I?m reserving judgment. I look forward to working with Congressmen Miller and McKeon throughout this process to ensure that this reauthorization includes the best policy for our nation?s high school students.?

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