New Education Task Force Launches Campaign to Improve Education, Bridge Achievement Gaps

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has announced the establishment of a national policy task force that will collaborate on the new "Broader, Bolder Approach to Education" campaign, which is designed to improve current federal policies on education and youth development in order to raise achievement levels among disadvantaged children.

According to a spokesperson for the task force, which includes leaders with diverse religious and political affiliations working in the public policy areas of education, social welfare, health, housing, and civil rights, many American children are growing up in circumstances that hinder their educational achievement. The task force intends to call attention to what it considers flaws in the current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and will argue that the nation's education and youth development policy has erred in relying on school improvement alone to help disadvantaged students.

With lead funding from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the campaign will call for continued school improvement efforts; developmentally appropriate and high-quality early childhood, preschool, and kindergarten care and education; routine pediatric dental, hearing, and vision care for all infants, toddlers, and school children; and improvements in the quality of students' out-of-school time.

"After six years, it has become clear that No Child Left Behind has not succeeded in improving the quality of education available to America's neediest children," said campaign co-chair Pedro Noguera. "This task force is united around the need for a more comprehensive approach to federal policy that specifically response to the needs of children and schools in low-income areas."

"Expert Task Force Charges School Reform Alone Will Fail in Closing Achievement Gap." Nellie Mae Education Foundation Press Release 06/10/2008.