FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NCLB Act Focuses on Helping Students
Meet State Standards
Springfield, Illinois – As parents
send students back to school, they may notice the beginning
of new school improvement initiatives resulting from the federal
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. The law, which emphasizes
standards-based learning for all students, will be especially
beneficial to low-performing students.
“The No Child Left Behind Act offers additional assistance
to those students who have difficulty achieving state standards,”
said State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller.
“The initiatives in this new law will help us to further
close the state’s achievement gap between low-income
students and their classmates and the educator gap –
both in terms of the quantity and quality of our classroom
Below is a list of NCLB provisions that take affect with
the beginning of this school year:
Public school choice offers parents of students in low-performing
schools the option to send their children to a higher-performing
school in the district. In Illinois, 232 elementary and
middle schools are offering choice this fall because they
that did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) on this
year’s ISAT or PSAE scores.
New teachers hired to work in Title I-funded schools this
year must meet the federal definition of a “highly
Paraprofessionals working in Title-I supported programs
who were hired after January 8, 2002, must meet new “highly
qualified” criteria this fall.
Early Reading First will support local efforts to enhance
early language, literacy and pre-reading development of
preschool-age children, particularly those from low-income
Early Reading will provide funding to eligible districts
to implement reading programs and strategies scientifically
proven to help children in grades K-3 learn to read.
21st Century Community Learning Centers will provide quality
after-school programs for students who will receive extra
help in reading, mathematics and other subject areas as
well as help in building life skills.
Additional NCLB provisions will go into effect later this
year and beyond to complement the school improvement initiatives
started this fall. These provisions include:
Supplemental Educational Services (SES) will be offered
to students who attend schools that do not make adequate
yearly progress on their ISAT or PSAE scores for three consecutive
years. SES providers will offer additional academic assistance
to students before or after school or on weekends.
Teachers who instruct core academic subjects will be required
to meet the federal definition of “highly qualified”
by the end of the 2005-06 school year.