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UC Berkeley Press Release

Town Hall meeting to look at No Child Left Behind

– The No Child Left Behind Act linking federal funding to school reform will be the focus of a town hall meeting to be hosted by the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

This is the first official program in a series being sponsored across the country by the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, the National Academy of Education, and the National Society for the Study of Education. The second forum is set for Thursday, Oct. 7, at the University of San Francisco.

At UC Berkeley, the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions about the law and discuss with a panel of education experts how the law is affecting families, teachers and administrators in the Bay Area.

Leading the discussion will be Graduate School of Education Dean P. David Pearson, UC Berkeley education professors Judith Warren Little and Alan Schoenfeld, and Phil Daro, executive director of the Public Forum on School Accountability.

"This public forum provides a real opportunity for members of the campus and the local community to engage in a lively but scholarly discussion about the impact of No Child Left Behind on important issues in American education - reading instruction, math instruction, testing and teacher professionalism," said Pearson.

"We hope to address both the good intentions behind the law and the consequences - good and ill - as well as how different states and districts have chosen to implement it," he said. "We plan to shed a little light and generate a few sparks."

Since President Bush signed No Child Left Behind into law in 2002, reactions have been mixed. Proponents commend the focus on high standards and holding schools accountable for student achievement. Opponents maintain that the accountability standards are unrealistic and charge that the federal government has not provided adequate resources so schools can comply with the legislation.

As a condition of receiving federal funding for public elementary and secondary schools, the law requires:
* High academic standards in English, mathematics and science
* English and mathematics assessments, using standards-aligned tests annually in
grades 3-8 and once in grades 10-12
* Science assessment at three grade levels, using tests aligned with standards
* Highly qualified teachers
* Accountability for student achievement as measured by the assessments through
schools' demonstration of adequate yearly progress
* Report cards on schools

The free forum will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 2040 of the Valley Life Sciences Building, on the west side of campus. A map of the campus is available online at: http://www.berkeley.edu/map/.