Texans will Testify on the Impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on Texas Children

The hearing on September 28 in San Antonio is part of a national effort to determine how federal law affects local communities. It is hosted by the Intercultural Development Research Association and Public Education Network

September 24, 2004 – Texans will come to San Antonio Tuesday to voice their opinions on the No Child Left Behind Act. Parents, students, educators and community members from across the state will testify before a panel of state and national leaders to identify the extent to which NCLB is providing adequate resources, improving teaching and learning, delivering targeted services to students and teachers, and enhancing the public’s confidence in its schools and in the nation’s system of public education.

As more schools are identified by NCLB as falling short and the debate over the federal law intensifies, the Intercultural Development Research Association will host a forum to hear public opinions about children’s schooling and the impact of the NCLB education law, now in its third year of implementation.

“For 30 years, IDRA has worked together with parents, educators, and community and business leaders to ensure excellent schools where children are safe, happy, learning and engaged,” said Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA executive director. “The community is a powerful force to promoting quality neighborhood public schools. This hearing on NCLB is an opportunity to listen to the community on what is best for our children.”

The forum is one in a series of public hearings sponsored by Public Education Network in conjunction with state and regional partners. PEN is a national organization of local education funds dedicated to improving public schools and building citizen support for quality public education for all children.

“ Given the magnitude of NCLB, we need to listen to the voices of community members, parents, and students affected by this law because the education of our children is one of the most central responsibilities we have as citizens in a democratic society ,” says PEN President Wendy D. Puriefoy.

The hearing is free and open to the public.

Date: September 28, 2004
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m. Opening remarks by hearing officers
3:30 p.m. Business panel
4:35 p.m. Student panel
5:40 p.m. Parent panel
6:45 p.m. Community panel

Location: Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Theater, 1300 Guadalupe Street

The public also can provide testimony via PEN’s e-advocacy web siteGiveKidsGoodSchools.com and by contacting IDRA at www.idra.org or 210-444-1710.

Testimony received will assist decision makers at the national, state and local levels in learning where the public is most supportive of NCLB and other changes taking place in schools today, what the public’s primary concerns are, what is working well, and what changes are needed to achieve beneficial results for young people.

The results of the hearing will be incorporated into a national report distributed to members of Congress, the media and a broad range of education stakeholders. A state report will provide specific commentary on Texas and NCLB.

The hearing is supported by a number of organizations, including:

  • Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio
  • Making Connections – San Antonio, An Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Texas Latino Education Coalition
  • Texas League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches

IDRA is an independent, private non-profit organization, directed by Dr. María Robledo Montecel, dedicated to creating schools that work for all children. As a vanguard leadership development and research team for three decades, IDRA has worked with people to create self-renewing schools that value and empower all children, families and communities. IDRA conducts research and development activities, creates, implements and administers innovative education programs and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.

Public Education Network is a national organization of local education funds and individuals working to improve schools and build citizen support for quality public education in low-income communities across the country. PEN and its 89 LEF members work in 34 states and the District of Columbia on behalf of 11.1 million children in more than 1200 school districts, seeking to bring the community voice into the debate on quality public education in the firm belief that an active, vocal constituency will ensure every child, in every community, a quality public education.

Contact: Christie Goodman, APR, IDRA, 210-444-1710, christie.goodman@idra.org).