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U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Unveils Indicators to Track Nations Education Progress at Aspen Institute Summit in Washington, D.C.


Together with No Child Left Behind, leading education indicators provide a national barometer of success

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today unveiled five education indicators that will complement No Child Left Behind by providing a snapshot of national trends. These indicators—Achievement, Achievement Gap, High School Graduation, College Readiness, and College Completion—show educational performance over time to inform future debate on reform. In her address at the Aspen Institute National Education Summit at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., before approximately 300 education, business, civil rights and community leaders from across the U.S., Secretary Spellings discussed the state of the American education system and the future of the accountability movement in education.

“Test scores are up and the achievement gap is narrowing,” said Secretary Spellings. “According to the Nation’s Report Card, since 2000, more kids are learning reading and math. In math, especially, we’re making great progress. And the children once left behind are making some of the greatest gains. That includes low-income children, students with limited English proficiency, and students with disabilities.”

“Yet, we still have a long road ahead,” Secretary Spellings added. “And, if past trends continue, three in 10 of all high school students—and half of all Hispanic and African-American students—will not graduate from high school on time. Think about that. Think of the untapped potential. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that ’our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ Folks, the fact that half the minority kids who walk into a school do not walk out with a diploma should matter to all of us. And even shame us.”

“Today we know what works—effective educators, plus reliable data, plus proven strategies. Educators now use data to improve performance. Parents now get report cards on their schools, not just their kids. And schools now have a deadline for results: grade level or better by 2014. This is a sea change and I think we hit a nerve!”

Following her remarks, Secretary Spellings participated in a panel discussion with Roy Romer, chairman, Strong American Schools; Joel Klein, chancellor, New York City Public Schools; and Tom Donohue, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Michael Lomax, president, United Negro College Fund, moderated the discussion.

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More information on the Aspen Institute National Education Summit is available at


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