Press Release

June 20, 2008
United States House of Representatives
Washington DC, 20515
Re: Opposition to NCLB Recess Until Reauthorization Act

Dear Representative:

Fixing America’s struggling schools requires us to face their issues head-on and do the hard work to ensure that they have both the resources and know-how to boost student learning and close achievement gaps.

But HR 6239, the Graves/Walz, NCLB Recess until Reauthorization Act, would do just the opposite. This legislation sweeps those issues under the rug and would deny these schools and their students the resources and support they need to improve. Enactment of HR 6239 would signal federal indifference about academic achievement at a time when we can ill-afford to be indifferent about the millions of students—many of whom are black, brown and poor—who aren’t being prepared for the challenges of this new and increasingly complex century. We urge you to oppose this bill.

None of us claim that NCLB is perfect. Indeed, many of us have recommended ways to make the law both fairer and more effective, and all of us are disappointed that Congress has yet to reauthorize and improve it. Despite our concerns, we believe that suspending the law’s supports and sanctions as required by HR 6239 would be both ill-advised and reckless.

HR 6239 undermines the efforts of thousands of educators, parents and community leaders throughout America working on the frontlines to improve their schools and the life chances of some of our most vulnerable students. Not only does this bill deny desperately needed assistance to faltering schools, it also denies their students tutoring support and the opportunity to transfer to better public schools.

HR 6239 would turn back the clock to a time when our country simply ignored troubled schools. That approach, the norm for generations of federal education policy, failed miserably and has wasted billions of dollars and squandered the potential of millions of our fellow citizens. As imperfect as NCLB may be and as uncomfortable as the law may make some adults, we can’t afford—not even for a moment—to turn away from the law’s commitment to identify and intervene in schools that are not making the grade.

Despite its shortcomings, NCLB still represents the best and boldest step taken by the federal government in more than a generation to improve our schools for all of our children. We urge you to work against the passage of HR 6239, and look forward to a time in the near future when we can engage in a thoughtful reauthorization process to improve and strengthen this law.


Kati Haycock
President, The Education Trust


Steven J. Adamowski, Ph.D., Superintendent, Hartford Public Schools, Hartford, CT
Clinton Adams, Attorney and Chair of The Black Education Council of Kansas City, MO
Carol Albritton, Teacher Quality Coordinator, New Jersey Department of Education, Trenton, NJ
Susan K. Anderson, School Improvement Coordinator, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
Barbara Antinoro, Chief Visionary, Kid Angel Foundation, San Diego, CA
Dr. Juan Carlos Araque, V.P., Community Investments, Orange County United Way, Irvine, CA


Margaret Bourdeaux Arbuckle, Ph.D., Executive Director, Guilford Education Alliance, Jamestown, NC
Lauren Baker, Coordinator, Career and Technical Education, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, WI
Steve Bautista, Counselor/Coordinator, Center for Teacher Education, Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, CA
Devin Bell, ESL Teacher, Granite School District, West Valley City, UT
Dominic Belmonte, President and CEO, Golden Apple Foundation
Patricia E. Braxton, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District, Woodstown, NJ
Harold Brewer, The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning, Raleigh, NC
Liz Brewer, School Counselor, Turbotville Elementary School, Turbotville, PA
David Britt, Retired President and CEO, Sesame Street Workshop
Julia Bryan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Raymond W. Bryant, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools, Elmira City School District, Elmira, NY
Ellen Bucek, Retired Educator, Vancouver, WA
Jennifer Burns, Grandmother, Creighton, MO


Geoffrey Canada, President/CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone, New York, NY
Maria Canales, The New Teacher Project, TFA alum, Delray Beach, FL
Center for American Progress Action Fund, Washington, DC
Stacey M. Childress, Co-Founder, Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard University, MA
Neil Chonin, Director of Litigation, Southern Legal Counsel, Gainesville, FL
Dr. Effie N. Christie, Assistant Professor and Director for the Institute for Women in Educational Administration, Department of Educational Leadership, Kean University, Union, NJ
Bernadette Cleland, Educational Consultant, Montpelier, VT
Crystal Collins, Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA
Marilyn Crawford, TimeWise Schools, Paducah, KY
Robbin Cuthbertson, New York City Department of Education, New York, NY


Leigh Dalton, York, PA
Angus M. Davis, Providence, RI
Michelle Dennard, member of NEA and Florida Education Association Governance board member of FEA, Tampa, FL
Judee DeStefano-Anen, Assistant Superintendent, Stafford Township School District, Manahawkin, NJ
Sarah Devaney, Ypsilanti, MI
Lavinia T. Dickerson, Educator, Alexandria, VA
Jim Dukes, School Improvement Consultant, Luling, LA
Jerry Dyar, Mary Walker School District, Springdale, WA


Wayne Eastman, Rutgers University and South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, South Orange, NJ
Jill Eatherly, Tennessee Board of Regents, Nashville, TN
Catherine E. Mack Ender, Ed.D., Cumberland County College, Vineland, NJ
Pamela Engler, Program Coordinator, National Center for Urban School Transformation, San Diego, CA
June Eressy, Principal, Claremont Academy/University Park Campus School, Worcester, MA
Bruce Eschler, Murray School District and Bringham Young University, South Jordan, UT
Henry M. Escobar, Superintendent, Livingston Union School District, Livingston, CA
Richard Esparza, Retired principal of Granger High School, Granger, WA
Danine Ezell, PhD, Project Specialist, E3 Grant/Science Department, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego, CA


William V. Flores, Deputy Secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department
Karen S. Foster, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, DuBois Area School District
Marc Frazer, Education First, Seattle, WA
Howard Fuller, Ph.D., Founder and Director, The Institute for the Transformation of Learning, Marquette University, WI
Tony Funaro, School Counselor, NY


David Goodman, Student Services Resource Teacher – Guidance, Brevard Public Schools, Viera, FL
Mike Graham-Squire, Director of Civic Engagement and Philanthropy, Marin Youth Leadership Institute, San Francisco, CA
Karon K. Greyer, Director of Elementary Education, Muscogee County School District, Columbus, GA
James W. Guthrie, Professor, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University


Patricia Hackney, Public Education Department, Priority Schools Bureau, Rio Rancho, NM
Patricia Hamamoto, Superintendent of Education, Hawaii State Department of Education
Peter H. Hanley, Board of Trustees, San Mateo Union High School District, San Mateo, CA
Jane Harbaugh, Associate Provost (ret’d), University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Susan E. Harris, Senior Vice President, Tulsa Metro Chamber, Tulsa, OK
Phyllis Hart, Educational Consultant, Long Beach, CA
Adriane Hartness, School Improvement Facilitator, Kent, WA
Richard L. Hayes, Ed. D., Professor and Dean, College of Education, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Thomas Hayward, Co-Founder, Voyager Expanded Learning, Seattle, WA
Ronald J. Henry, Georgia State University, Atlanta GA
Karen Hessel, Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, Philadelphia, PA
Barbara Hill, Board Member of the Georgia Partnership for Education, Atlanta, GA
Becky Crowe Hill, San Francisco, CA
Dr. Sam Houston, President and CEO, North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, RTP, N
Phyllis Hudecki, Executive Director, Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition


Richard G. Innes, Education Analyst, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, KY


Dr. Thelma A. Jackson, President, Washington Alliance of Black School Educators, Olympia, WA
Dr. Robert L. Jarvis, Director of K-12 Outreach and Co-Director, Delaware Valley Minority Student Achievement Consortium, Co-Director, New Jersey Network to Close the Achievement Gaps, Penn Center for Educational Leadership, Graduate School Of Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Kathy Jaycox, P-20 Senior Associate, United for Learning: The Hawaii P-20 Initiative, Honolulu, HI
James J. Jencarelli, Superintendent, Carlstadt-East Rutherford Regional School District, East Rutherford, NJ
Craig D. Jerald, President, Break the Curve, Washington, DC
Cassius O. Johnson, Director, National & Federal Policy, Jobs for The Future, Boston, MA
Latasha D. Johnson, Rochester City School District, Rochester, NY


Carol J. Kaffenberger, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Counseling & Development Program, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Professor William Kaplin, Stetson University and Catholic University, Harpers Ferry, WV
Lisa Karmacharya, Ed.D., Executive Director of Federal Programs and Elementary Curriculum, Hattiesburg Public School District, Hattiesburg, MS
Lynn Keckler, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD
Connor Keese, Admission Counselor, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Kate Kennedy, Learning Facilitator, Battelle for Kids & former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, Columbus, OH
Sarah M. Kern, Ph.D., Chair of Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
Epryl King, M.Ed., Raising Achievement in Monroeville and Pitcairn (RAMP), Monroeville, PA
Joel Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education, New York, NY
Jim Kohlmoos, President, Knowledge Alliance, Washington, DC
Kathleen T. Kurz, Ph.D., Principal, Woodland School, Jennings, MO


Carol Lake, former teacher and principal of 40 years, Shelton, WA
Donald N. Langenberg, Chancellor Emeritus, University System of Maryland, Adelphi, MD
Juan Francisco Lara, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine
Noma LeMoine Ph.D., Director, Closing the Achievement Gap Branch, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA
Mary F. Leslie, Associate Professor in Education & Developmental Studies Louisiana State University at Eunice, Eunice, LA
Curtis Linton, Vice-President, School Improvement Network, Salt Lake City, UT
Theresa Y. Lopez, Program Improvement Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA
Rebecca L. Lubetkin, Professor Emerita, Rutgers University, NJ


Veronica Madrigal, Alliance for Excellent Education, Washington, DC
Judith K. Martin-Tafoya, Principal, Truman Middle School, Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, NM
Caterina Leone Mannino, Rochester City School District, Rochester, NY
Larry P. Mason, Vice President for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Clark County School Trustee, Las Vegas, NV
Ketrin Saud Maxwell, Assistant Professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Director, Project ACCESS, Long Island University
Mary E. McClure, Providence School Board, Providence RI
Phyllis McClure, Researcher/Writer on educational equity, Washington DC (former NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, 1969-1993)
Lamar Mitchell, Director, Champions of Education, Hickory, NC
Linda Halliday Moitoza, Middletown, RI
Gracy Montemayor-Cantu, Manager, Secondary Counseling and Guidance, Houston, TX


Rita L. Navarrette, Doctorate, Educational Psychology, Catholic University of America
Queenette Nwobodo, American School Counselor Association, Bronx, NY


Dr. Denise L. Pagán-Vega, Assistant to the Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, MA
Jacki Paone, Alliance for Quality Teaching, Denver, CO
Rebecca Parker, Sacramento, CA
Elizabeth Parry, Engineer, Holly Springs, NC
Mary Ellen Petruccelli, Principal, Mary M. Walsh School, Springfield, MA
Lyn Bracewell Phillips, Ph.D., Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Heidi Pierovich, Action Learning Systems, Pasadena, CA
Linda Powell-McMillan, National Director of Program Development, AVID Center, San Diego, CA
James L. Pughsley, Ed.D., Visiting Professor, University of Virginia, and Executive Director, Partnership for Leaders in Education


Beth Rae, Literacy Coach, Cleveland Heights, OH
E. Vance Randall, Ph.D., Professor of Education Policy, Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations, Brigham Young University
Michael Rasmussen, Rodel Foundation of Delaware, Wilmington, DE
Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington, DC
Roy Romer, former Governor of Colorado and former Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District
Jonathan Rosenberg, Executive Director, Roads to Success, New York, NY
Nancy Rubino, Ph.D., Director, Office of Academic Initiatives, The College Board, New York, NY
Paul F. Ruiz, Ph.D., Senior Director, P-16/Outreach, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Austin, TX
Suzanne Urban Ryan, Educator, South Orange-Maplewood School District, Maplewood, NJ


Ricki Sabia, National Down Syndrome Society, Silver Spring, MD
Joe Scantlebury, Senior Policy Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Cynthia B. Schmeiser, Ph.D., President and COO, ACT Education Division, Iowa City, IA
Jamey Schrey, San Juan Unified School District, Carmichael, CA
Ruth Schroeder, Former staff developer, New York City public schools, New York, NY
Shela Seaton, Coordinator, Regional System of District and School Support, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Stockton, CA
Denise Seguine, Wichita Public Schools, Wichita, KS
Marlene Seltzer, CEO & President, Jobs for the Future, Boston, MA
Katie Simpson, ELL Teacher, NEA Member, Maplewood, NJ
Kevin Simpson, Global Educational Consultant, Alexandria, VA
Nanette Sison, Community Outreach Coordinator, Nevada State Parent Information & Resource Center, Washoe County School District, Reno, NV
Susan M. Smartt, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Duane Smith, Professional School Counselor, Silver Spring, MD
Lenoa Great Smith, Teacher, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, NC
George Solis
Sharon D. Southall, Associate Vice President for P-20 Initiatives, University of Louisiana System
Craig Spinks, Ed.D, Co-chair, DADS IN ACTION, Augusta, GA
Patricia Spradley, Chief Administrator for Parent & Community Engagement, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, MA
Ryan Stanson-Marsh, Principal, Perkiomen Valley Middle School West, Zieglerville, PA
Tammy Hallman Starnes, Board Member, Autauga County Schools, Prattville, AL
Alex Steinman, Education Director, Urban Concern, Columbus, OH
Denise Swanger, Ph.D., Bayless High School Principal, St. Louis, MO


Jill Tabachnick, Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento, CA
Michael L. Terry, Senior Project Director, Partnership for Leaders in Education, University of Virginia
Diane Thomas, Baltimore City Department of Social Services, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Claudia Thompson, Assistant Superintendent, Peninsula School District, Gig Harbor, WA
Danielle Torres, Ph.D., Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR
Jose M. Torres, Ph.D., Area Instruction Officer, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
Jerry Trusty, Professor, Penn State University, University Park, PA


Andrea Valle, New York, NY
Andrew J. Van Camp II, Thistle Seed Integrated Technologies, Bourbon, MO
Martha H. von Mering, Chief Compliance Officer, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, MA


Marina Ballantyne Walne, Ph.D., Executive Director, Institute for Public School Initiatives
Don Watson, Education Consultant, Watson Education Services LLC
Sally David Weinstock, Mesa Community College, Tempe, AZ
Roger Wilkins, Clarence J. Robinson Professor Emeritus, George Mason University
Gerald R. Williams, Professional Development Coordinator, Placer County Office of Education, Auburn, CA
Joe Williams, Executive Director, Democrats for Education Reform, New York, NY
Linda Wilson, Teacher, 21st Century Public Academy Charter School, Albuquerque, NM
Jane W. Worsham, Education Consultant, North Carolina New Schools Project and Retired Executive Director, North Carolina State Board of Education