An independent bipartisan commission has called on Congress to strengthen the No Child Left Behind federal education law by raising the standards used to judge teachers and principals and by eliminating ineffective educators from poorer schools. The recommendations are part of a report released Feb. 13 by the Commission on No Child Left Behind, a 15-member, privately-funded group chaired by former Georgia governor Roy E. Barnes and Tommy Thompson, former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. was named to the commission in 2006.
Among its 75 recommendations, the commission’s report proposes that states overhaul their testing procedures to track individual student progress and that the public have the means to hold educators and school officials liable for failing to meet the needs of students.
“If the state fails to enforce environmental regulations against a polluter, members of the public can not only go to the ballot box, they can also go to court,” Edley told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It ought to be true in education.”
The commission will present its report to Congress, which is set to consider reauthorizing the sweeping 2002 federal education act this year. The commission was established by the Aspen Institute and is funded by several leading educational foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.