The Aspen Institute has announced that its bipartisan Commission on No Child Left Behind and more than thirty education, business, civil rights, and philanthropic organizations have joined forces to launch the Coalition for Student Achievement, which will work to ensure that the government's $100 billion investment in education through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) yields needed reforms and results in significant, lasting gains in student achievement.
The coalition will monitor the implementation of ARRA while supporting local, state, and federal leaders as they work to meet the law's requirements to boost teacher effectiveness, improve academic standards and tests, upgrade data capabilities for measuring student and teacher performance, and more effectively intervene in struggling schools. To that end, the organization sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urging him to push states and districts to use the funds to leverage fundamental changes to the system and ensure that all children receive an excellent education.
In addition, the coalition recommended that the U.S. Department of Education give strong, clear direction to states and districts about how to achieve and measure reforms and develop mechanisms to make their progress in meeting these challenges more transparent.
In order to receive funding through ARRA, governors must commit to advancing a series of key reforms such as creating a robust P-16 data system that tracks individual student performance and fosters continuous improvement; designing and implementing high-quality assessments of student learning; placing the best teachers in the most challenging schools; and intervening effectively in chronically low-performing schools. According to Commission on No Child Left Behind director Gary Huggins, "the commission believes that progress on these reforms, which mirror our recommendations for improving NCLB, is critical in setting the stage for an effective reauthorization of that law."
For a complete list of coalition members, visit the Aspen Institute Web site.