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Some schools 'left behind' by federal act

Nov. 10, 2004

By EDITORIAL STAFF

Since President George W. Bush implemented the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2002, public school districts across the nation have known they would have to improve their quality of education by this academic year or face the repercussions. Beginning this year, school districts that have not met what the NCLB deems necessary requirements must allow parents to transfer their children to other public schools at the cost of the school district.

According to CNN.com, Coachella Valley Unified School District may be the first to legally oppose this act, saying the school district is "being held to unreachable goals."

At Oasis Elementary School in the Coachella Valley Unified School District, 90 percent of the students are Hispanic, and since the annual tests the schools are required to proctor are only given in English, many of those students don't pass, which causes the school to be classified as "failing."

The editorial board believes that while the act was well-intended and for the most part effective, more consideration and time should be given to school districts with large Spanish-speaking populations. These schools have been given two years to increase the number of passing students, but at the same time, the number of Spanish-speaking students has increased. It is a cycle that is bound to repeat itself with every new influx of students.

Further, we don't believe the school districts should be penalized financially by being required to fund students' transportation to other schools. This only increases the burden of the failing schools and doesn't give them an adequate opportunity to improve.

Education is by far one of the most important items on the Bush agenda, and we believe he should be committed to the continued improvement of our public schools. However, we also believe there is more that can be done in the form of increased funding and more attention paid to minority students, which would ensure no child is left behind.

Editorial Board Vote: 5-0