After meeting at the White House today with President Bush and some of my colleagues in the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, I am very encouraged by the bipartisan commitment that was shown to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  That law, which President Bush signed into law five years ago today, is vital to give American workers and the nation’s economy a competitive edge in the 21st Century global marketplace.

Renewal of No Child Left Behind and important elementary and secondary school programs represents a test the 110th Congress must pass, as the law is key to helping our nation meet the growing challenge of global competition.  We are committed to working together and earning high marks on this critical assignment.

To pass this test we need to make the classroom experience real and relevant to the knowledge and skills the 21st Century requires.

We must be sure to examine carefully the impact of NCLB implementation on rural school districts.  No Child Left Behind should mean that the proper flexibility and focus are provided so that no rural schools are left behind.

Today’s meeting with President Bush confirmed a strong, bipartisan commitment in the Congress to improve NCLB so that it will better meet the needs of all our nation’s schools and better prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.

The President announced his intention to devote more resources to help states comply with No Child Left Behind.  We must work in a bipartisan manner to ensure that states and local communities utilize the tools the law developed over the last five years to best fulfill their mission and close the achievement gap among our students.  I look forward to working with the President and Congressional leaders to prioritize our education needs to find the resources for these additional services.