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  • George W. Bush Institute

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January 6, 2012 2 minute Read by Hannah Abney

As we near the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind, the landmark education law put forth by President Bush in 2002, check out Andrew Rotherham's most recent column for Time Magazine: Andrew Rotherham, In Defense of No Child Left Behind, Time Magazine: "The increased focus on accountability has produced some benefits. For starters, NCLB has changed educators from arguing about whether to hold schools accountable for performance to arguing about how to do it. That’s no small accomplishment in a field that is notoriously hostile to change and is particularly averse to the concept of consequential accountability. (It’s hard to overstate this; I’ve been in meetings where people have requested that words like “performance” not be used because they consider them offensive terms.) NCLB also produced an explosion of data that, while not consistently useful yet, is at least putting the education debate onto a more empirical footing. This change was long overdue as well. Elementary and secondary education is a $650 billion annual undertaking, but, until recently, even basic measures of — yes — performance were not routinely taken or analyzed. Together, the focus on data and accountability is fueling a growing urgency about the need to improve our schools. The law highlighted the magnitude of the gaps in achievement and outcomes that divide students by race and income and makes it harder for people to argue, in essence, that “our schools are doing fine if you don’t count the poor and minority kids.” Oh, and by the way, there has been some improvement in achievement for low-income and minority kids, the law’s intended beneficiaries — which is no small thing in a country that systematically overlooks these students." Read more »


Author

Hannah Abney
Hannah Abney

Hannah Abney directs strategic communications and messaging for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, leading a team responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies that help advance the Bush Center’s work in developing leaders, fostering policy, and taking action to save and change lives.

Prior to joining the Bush Center, she led public relations activities for consumer and non-profit brands at The Richards Group.  Abney also led communications efforts  at a national retail trade association in Washington, DC, and served in the George W. Bush Administration in the Vice President’s Office.

A native of Milwaukee, WI, she is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University (B.A., Music) and lives in Dallas with her husband and young sons. 

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