Washington, D.C. – Following a White House meeting today with President Bush and congressional leaders, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said he is encouraged by the bipartisan commitment to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which Enzi said can help give American workers and the nation’s economy a competitive edge in the 21st Century global marketplace.
The meeting with the President marked the fifth anniversary of the landmark law. Also in attendance were Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Chairman of the HELP Committee, Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., House Education and Labor Chairman, George Miller, D-Calif., and Ranking Member Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif.
"Renewal of No Child Left Behind and important elementary and secondary school programs represents a test the 110th Congress must pass, as the law is a key to helping our nation meet the growing challenge of global competition. We are committed to working together and earning high marks on this critical assignment," Enzi said. "To pass this test we need to make the classroom experience real and relevant to the knowledge and skills the 21st Century requires."
Enzi stressed the importance of examining the impact of NCLB implementation on rural school districts.
"No Child Left Behind should mean that the proper flexibility and focus are provided so that no rural schools are left behind. Today’s meeting with President Bush confirmed a strong, bipartisan commitment in the Congress to improve NCLB so that it will better meet the needs of all our nation’s schools and better prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful," Enzi said. "We must work in a bipartisan manner to ensure that states and local communities are able to use the tools the law developed over the last five years to best fulfill their mission and close the achievement gap among our students."
Enzi said he’s never been to a more positive meeting on the NCLB Act than the meeting today.
"There was agreement we should proceed and an agreement in principal on what needs to be done," Enzi said.