News Releases

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Isakson Praises 'No Child Left Behind,'
Cites Achievements of Atlanta Elementary School
Also Stresses Need to Expand Internet to All Schools

WASHINGTON - During a hearing with the U.S. Secretary of Education today, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) praised the No Child Left Behind law for helping to improve schools and cited an inner-city Atlanta elementary school as proof that the law is working.

"We need to understand what No Child Left Behind has done to remove the veil for administrators and to really motivate teachers," Isakson said to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee. 

Isakson specifically cited the academic achievements of Charles L. Gideons Elementary School, where a majority of the students are African-American and come from low-income households. On Jan. 23, Isakson and Spellings visited with third graders at Charles L. Gideons Elementary School in Atlanta to discuss the importance of math and science education in preparation for 21 st century jobs. Students at Gideons spend nearly three hours each day learning reading and math skills as part of an academic reform effort designed to improve children's educational foundations.  

"It's no secret why Gideons Elementary is so successful," Isakson said. "Armstead Salters is a great principal who is a great leader. He attracts good teachers because he backs them up and insists on excellence."

Isakson also emphasized the importance of increasing Internet access in inner-city and rural schools.

"We need to work on broadband expansion and accessibility to our rural and inner-city schools on whatever level we can federally," Isakson said.

Isakson serves on the Senate HELP Committee. While a member of the House, Isakson helped draft the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. Isakson also served as chairman of the Georgia Board of Education from 1996 to 1999.  

Isakson praised President Bush and Secretary Spellings for their commitment to enhancing math and science education. During the State of the Union, the President announced the creation of the American Competitiveness Initiative, which promotes a strong foundation in math and science.