Learning to Lead: Exploring the Effectiveness of the No Child Left Behind Act

Jul 13, 2007Jul 14, 2007
B-340 Rayburn House Office Building


Introductory Remarks

The Honorable Peter Hoekstra
Congressman, 2nd District of Michigan

The Honorable Timothy Roemer
Former Congressman & Distinguished Scholar
Mercatus Center at George Mason University 


Dr. Antony Davies 

Associate Professor of Economics
Duquesne University

Click Here to view Dr. Davies' presentation.

Kevin Carey 
Research and Policy Manager,
Education Sector 

The 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act significantly transformed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  One of the architects of this bill was former Congressman from Indiana and now President of the Center for National Policy, Dr. Timothy Roemer.  The law significantly increased the federal government's role in K-12 education by introducing revolutionary measures to increase accountability in school standards.  If schools did not meet the new standards, the bill authorized some parental flexibility in choosing the schools their children could attend. With broad bipartisan support, President George Bush declared the start of a "new era" in American education.

Five years later, data continues to roll in on the successes and setbacks from NCLB.  Several policymakers critical of its costs, as well as its outcomes, are supporting the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act.  The A-PLUS Act allows states to opt out of NCLB while continuing to receive federal funding.  As the bill's sponsor in the House, Congressman Peter Hoekstra seeks to return control over education to the state and local level.  According to the bill, "states would be required to demonstrate transparent accounting measures and would be held accountable to parents and taxpayers by annually reporting on the academic achievement of schools."

This panel presentation, sponsored by the MercatusCenter at GeorgeMasonUniversity , framed the upcoming reauthorization of No Child Left Behind with remarks from the Congressmen, as well as presentations on the education question from expert scholars.  Participants learned about the nascent outcomes of NCLB and gained an understanding of the federal role in education policy.