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Ask the Education Secretary

Interviewing Secretary of Education Margaret SpellingsThe Washington Bureau of Media General arranged an interview with Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in August.

National correspondent Gil Klein invited teachers to provide the questions about the federal “No Child Left Behind” Act.

Click here to read Gil Klein’s story.

Click here to read the full transcript of the interview.

The No Child Left Behind Act (2001)

No Child Left Behind is a federal program that strives to improve the performance of America’s primary and secondary schools by increasing the standards of accountability for states, school districts and schools. It is focused on math and reading and re-authorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Read an overview of the act here.

NCLB Links and Resources

For Teachers:

  • Teacher-to-teacher Initiative – Dept. of Education site to enable teachers to share ideas and resources.
  • PowerPoint Presentations for the classroom – selected PowerPoint presentations from Teacher workshops sponsored by the Dept of Education.
  • Gateway Educational Materials – Thousands of educational resources found on various federal, state, university, non-profit, and commercial Internet sites.
  • For Parents:

  • Parents’ Guide to NCLB – Facts for parents.
  • Tools for Student Success – How to help your kids attain success in the classroom.
  • Against NCLB:

  • “A site advocating a sound approach to school improvement”
  • National Education Association

  • Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings

    Margaret Spellings took over the office of Secretary of Education on January 20, 2005.

    She served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during President George W. Bush’s first term. In that role, she helped craft education policy, including the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001.

    Prior to her White House appointment, Spellings served as a senior advisor to then-Gov. Bush. Her achievements include the Texas Reading Initiative, the Student Success Initiative to eliminate social promotion, and what many have called “the nation’s strongest school assessment and accountability system.” She began her association with Bush when she served as a political advisor during his 1994 run for governor.

    Spellings was born in Michigan in 1957. She moved with her family to Houston, Texas, when she was a grade school student. She graduated from the University of Houston in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

    She has two daughters, ages 18 and 13.

    Additional Resources

    PBS Logo

    PBS’s “Frontline” took a look at the No Child law right after it went into effect in 2002.

    Watch the show here.

Video Clips

Lisa Hogsett of Virginia asks whether pass rates will be lowered for disabled youngsters

Jennifer Andrews of Virginia asks about certification for special ed teachers

Maria Luzzi of Virginia asks about recently emigrated students

Jenny Karluk of Virginia asks whether the No Child Act violates the Americans With Disabilities Act

Anita Altman of Florida asks whether the No Child Act penalizes schools for doing a good job

Connie Gillespie of Florida asks whether the No Child Act can be used to help states balance priorities

Deborah Hicks of Florida asks about money her Title I school lost

Jim Mullin of Florida asks about resources for lesson plans

Carol Schiavone of Florida asks about the rewards for good performance in Title I schools

Angelia Visco of North Carolina asks Spellings to explain Adequate Yearly Progress

Angelia Visco of North Carolina asks why low growth schools don’t get better funding

Marshall Marvelli of North Carolina asks why No Child doesn’t address class size

Tom Yarber of Virginia asks about teacher vacancies

Margaret Griffin of Virginia asks help for low-IQ students

Margaret Griffin of Virginia asks about federal incentives for school construction

Ann Miller of Virginia asks whether the No Child Act makes unrealistic demands of special ed teachers

Libby Morrison of North Carolina asks whether the No Child Act has made it impossible to find well trained staff for programs aimed at the mentally-challenged

James Davis of North Carolina asks about teaching to tests

Rebecca Kaufmann of Tennessee asks about serving the needs of the non-academic student

Linda Weber of Virginia asks Spellings if she plans to lobby for more education funding

Deanna Gordon of Virginia asks Spellings where the government gets the authority for the No Child Act

Nancy Welch of Virginia asks Spellings about changes to the No Child Act in 2007

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