In the coming years, Duncan will face significant hurdles as Congress attempts to reauthorize NCLB
Reston, VA (Vocus) December 17, 2008
The National Association of Secondary of School Principals' (NASSP) Executive Director Gerald N. Tirozzi issued the following statement earlier today on the nomination of Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Arne Duncan as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
"We at NASSP are extremely pleased with the nomination of Arne Duncan for Secretary of Education. As the head of Chicago Public Schools, he has demonstrated a commitment to improving the education of all students and a willingness to bring educators of all stripes together in the pursuit of meaningful school reform. We are also pleased that he has called for additional flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and a significant increase in federal education funding."
A champion of school leadership during his superintendency, Duncan has implemented several programs to develop a new cadre of principals and assistant principals. His efforts reflect the priorities of NASSP - to ensure that every school is led by an effective instructional leader.
In addition, Duncan has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the literacy and numeracy skills of all students in all grades. Under his watch, a new evidence-based program incorporating literacy coaches was initiated in which every student in every grade spends two hours each day on improving their literacy skills. Similar programs were also created for math and science.
An Education Department led by Duncan would emphasize the needs of urban schools. His efforts to close the achievement gap and improve high school graduation rates have resulted in nearly two-thirds of eighth graders meeting or exceeding state standards (up from 40% in 2001) and greater numbers of high school students taking college-level courses and gaining college credit."
Adding a personal perspective, Janice Ollarvia, a former Chicago high school principal and distinguished principal advocate of secondary school reform at NASSP stated, "Duncan has a passion for improving the educational lives of public school students, which is evident to everyone who has had an opportunity to watch him work. I have no doubt that he will bring his bold vision for public school improvement and change to the Department of Education, along with the extraordinary energy that the job will require."
"In the coming years, Duncan will face significant hurdles as Congress attempts to reauthorize NCLB," said Tirozzi. "However, we are hopeful that he will continue his open-door policy, and we look forward to working with him and other education groups toward a brighter, more prosperous future for all students."
In existence since 1916, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the preeminent organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. NASSP's mission is to promote excellence in school leadership. The National Honor Society ®, National Junior Honor Society ®, National Elementary Honor Society™, and National Association of Student Councils ® are all NASSP programs. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, Virginia, visit http://www.principals.org or call 703-860-0200.
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