"I want every child in this country to head back to school in the fall knowing that their education is America’s priority. Let’s seize this education moment. Let’s fix No Child Left Behind." The audience at Kenmore Middle School in Virginia gave loud applause when the President announced that mission this morning. It's no small task, but it will be work informed by about a decade of lessons from NCLB's successes and failures, as well as two years of lessons from the President's innovative approaches like Race to the Top that leverage small investments to incentivize big reforms from the bottom up. The President's priorities and key changes from No Child Left Behind are laid in the White House fact sheet put out this morning -- here's the topline:
- A fair accountability system that shares responsibility for improvement and rewards excellence, and that is based on high standards and is informed by sophisticated assessments that measure individual student growth;
- A flexible system that empowers principals and teachers, and supports reform and innovation at the state and local level;
- And a system focused on the schools and the students most at risk -- that targets resources to persistently low-performing schools and ensures the most effective teachers serve students most in need.