No Child Left Behind will be discussed at public forum

No Child Left Behind will be discussed at public forum

CHAMPAIGN – Area educators will talk about what they can do to improve the No Child Left Behind legislation at a public forum this week.

The forum, "No Child Left Behind: What Changes Are Needed?", will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Champaign County Farm Bureau, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, C.

The public meeting is sponsored by the Champaign-Urbana Chapter of the American Association of University Women and several other organizations.

"The focus is, what should we be doing about the problems?" said Laurel Prussing, Urbana mayor and the organization's public policy chairwoman. "We hope that we'll come up with specific suggestions on how this should be improved."

No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization this year. Prussing said she hopes both organizations and individuals will talk to their congressional representatives and express their concerns.

One of the main concerns that will be discussed is the law's testing requirements.

"These rules say you have to have every child up to a certain level, otherwise the school faces (consequences)," she said. "There is no consideration that some schools get a bigger job because they get children who don't have English as their native language, and they're going to be judged the same as schools with children who've spoken English their whole lives.

"I think there just has to be a more sensible way of doing this," she said.

The panelists for the discussion are: Brenda Koenig, a parent and PTA member at South Side Elementary School in Champaign; Patricia Lewis, Champaign's interim assistant superintendent for achievement and a retired principal; Tracy Luchik, president of the Urbana Education Association and a middle school teacher; Kathleen Smith, math instructor at the University of Illinois and a 30-year veteran of public education; and Bertram (Chip) Bruce, professor of UI's Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

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