Harrisonburg elementary schools are accented with learning cottages already. "We're at capacity, even more than capacity," said Dr. Mike Loso of Harrisonburg City Schools. "Especially in the Shenandoah Valley, there's just not a lot of room to move students into other buildings."
Under the plan, if a school does not meet new federal standards, you can move your child to one that does. And how will your child get to the other school? That's the responsibility of the school district.
"We'll meet the challenge, I know we will," added Loso. "We have met every other challenge put before us."
The federal standards will measure students as a whole. It will also set standards for specific groups including ESL students.
"Will ESL students challenge us?" asked Loso. "They do now. They will continue since there is a measure by subgroup. That is a group that we will continue to pay attention to."
The other groups will include minority, poverty stricken, and special education students. And meeting all the standards will come at a higher cost. Some federal funds will be available, but Loso says it's never enough.
"We have so many needs in our division and it's very hard for us to meet them," said Loso. "We do that, but the dollar is pretty tight."
The state will have the federal guidelines in place January 2003. For more information, visit www.nochildleftbehind.gov.
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No Child Left Behind
On Jan. 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This new law represents his education reform plan, and made many changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was enacted in 1965.
The act contains the President's four basic education reform principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.
Here is a description of the four basic education reform principles in No Child Left Behind:
Stronger Accountability for Results
States are responsible for having strong academic standards for what every child should know and learn in reading, math, and science for elementary, middle and high schools.
Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, schools must administer tests in each of three grade spans: grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools. Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, tests must be administered every year in grades 3 through 8. Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, science achievement must also be tested.
Record Flexibility for States and Communities
The new law gives all 50 states and every local school district in America greater say in using the federal education dollars they receive every year.
Concentrating Resources on Proven Education Methods
No Child Left Behind will target education dollars to research-based programs that have been proven to help most children learn.
More Choices for Parents
No Child Left Behind offers many new ways to help students, schools, and teachers. It also gives parents options for helping their children if they are enrolled in schools chronically identified as in need of improvement. In fact these new parental choices will be available starting in the 2002-03 school year for students already enrolled in schools that have been identified as in need of improvement under current law.
Source: http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/next/overview/index.html (No Child Left Behind Web Site) contributed to this report