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 Home > News  > President Bush Signs No Child Left Behind Act (Jan. 8, 2002)

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President Bush Signs No Child Left Behind Act


Note: Congress has reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the statute formerly known as No Child Left Behind. The new statute, Every Student Succeeds Act, was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.


On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law. He offered this advice to parents:

"We know that every child can learn. Now is the time to ensure that every child does learn."

"As parents, you are your children's first teachers and their strongest advocates. You have a critical role to play - both in how you raise your children and in how you work for meaningful and accurate accountability in their schools."

"Too many children are segregated in schools without standards, shuffled from grade to grade . . . This is discrimination, pure and simple. "

Some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less. It is the soft bigotry of low expectations."
-- President George W. Bush

Secretary of Education Rod Paige said,

"No one cares more about your child's future than you do, and no one is better positioned to hold schools accountable for performance than you are."

"You have a right to know whether your child is really learning at school . . . If your child is not making adequate progress in school, you can and must ask why. A good teacher will be happy to answer your questions. Do your part and ask."

From Wrightslaw

No Child Left Behind is a comprehensive plan to reform schools, change school culture, empower parents, and improve education for all children.

Does This Law Apply to Children with Disabilities?


No Child Left Behind applies to all children who attend public schools - including kids with disabilities, kids with behavior problems, and other kids who have traditionally been written off - minorities, immigrants, and English as Second Language (ESL) youngsters.

No Child Left Behind requires annual testing of reading and math skills. The law may make it easier for parents to get annual objective testing of your child's skills - a battleground for many parents of kids with disabilities.

Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind

In A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind, you learn about new requirements for teachers and paraprofessionals, school report cards, annual testing of math and reading skills. You also learn about new options for parents including transfers from failing schools and free supplemental services - tutoring, after-school programs and summer school.

Download, print and distribute the 4 page printer-friendly version of A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind.

Visit our No Child Left Behind page for articles, resources, fact sheets, and more.

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