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Statement by Secretary Spellings Regarding Report on States’ Educational Effectiveness


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today made the following statement on the release of Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Effectiveness by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress:

With this report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress add an important voice to the ongoing dialogue on strengthening our nation’s education system—how to improve student achievement, get the best teachers into the most challenging classrooms, and improve the data quality to further customize instruction. Bottom line: we need to pick up the pace. We have a lot of work to do.

The report underscores what we already know—student achievement is not where it should be. That’s why President Bush has called for more rigorous state academic standards to close the achievement gap, particularly in our nation’s high schools, and prepare students for college and the workplace.

Because of No Child Left Behind, we now have the data that make possible these conversations that couldn’t take place just five years ago. But it’s clearly not enough. The time is now for states to adjust course and develop forward-looking approaches to strengthen and improve education. We can’t afford not to—our position as a world leader is at stake.

Critical to our efforts is the engagement of the business community to ensure our schools and students are equipped with tools for success. They are instrumental in helping to reshape the education enterprise, and I applaud their contributions. I’ve found that when business leaders take a stake in the education of our nation’s future leaders, good things happen.

I welcome the continued input of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress and others as we work with Congress to reauthorize No Child Left Behind this year.


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