46-2. Answers to questions about Education Reform
   Act, from State Governors in the U. S.

                  Japanese version, here
Shoji Sugita
A new Education Reform Act in the United States:"No Child Left Behind Act" will be soon enforced
And in regards to the Act, I sent a few questions to some State Governors in the United States, as
follows, at the beginning of September this year (2001). After that, on September 11th,a " Simultaneous
attack by terrorists" occurred in the U.S. and they are now in the state of "War".

However, I got three answers from their staff as follows, so I will express my gratitude to them deeply
for their responses to these difficult questions at such difficult time.
1. Questions to Governors
1.How to administer on the followings?
Children in failing schools would be able to transfer to another public schools
after one year and could use some federal funds to pay for transportation.

2.How to administer on t he followings?
If the schools continue to fail, after three years, children could use federal funds
to get help through services like private tutoring. After the fourth year, if not enough
progress is made, the school would have to reconstitute, either by becoming
charter schools, forcint the state to take them over or hiring a new staff to manage
the school.

3. How to adminste about the block-grant system?
a block-grant system that would allow states to use their federal education dollars
as they see fit, as long as they sign pledges guranteering that state test scores
will demonstrate a steady upward.

4. How is an "adeqate yearly progress" for schools defined?
2. Answers from Governors
 New Hampshire
      Kristyn A. McLeod,Special Assistant for Citizen Affairs
                  Office of Governor Jeanne Shaheen
The Governor has asked that I review and respond to your questions. As the Leave No Child
Behind Act is federal legislation that has yet to be fully passed, its implementation in state
government has only begun to be considered. However, there was a variety of state education
legislation pertaining to the implementation of school accountability.

Question 1, how to administer:
State legislation supporting school vouchers did not pass the Legislature last session.
Question 2, how to administer
The Governor supports strong accountability measures that would allow state assistance after
a school continues to fail. This assistance would include coming up with a joint plan for improving
the school in question. However, the bill that passed the NH Legislature did not include measures
that would allow this state assistance, so it was vetoed by the Governor.
Question 3, how to administer
New Hampshire already has standardized testing. Accountability legislation would hold schools to
these standards, allowing for some state assistance if those standards were not met. Again, the
accountability bill that passed the Legislature here in NH did not include holding the schools
accountable to these standards and was therefore vetoed. Implementing a national standardized
testing would not be all that different from the system we currently have in place.
     Faye P. Taylor,Commissioner of Education

Thank you Mr. Shoji Sugita for your interest in Tennessee's response to President Bush's
proposals. In Tennessee, we have embraced President Bush's No Child Left Behind platform
and are beginning to institute procedures and policies which promote its most important tenants.
In response to your first question, as stated in law, we have required Title I schools that are
designated as in "school improvement" to implement public school choice. We will be monitoring
school districts this year to guarantee that children who are entitled to exercise their options
under public school choice are provided that opportunity.

In response to your third question, Tennessee favors any federal proposal which allows flexibility in
the use of funds to meet school needs. We would be interested in applying to be one of the
charter states to participate in a program with this flexibility option.

As for your last question, our state has just defined adequate yearly progress as it applies to our
state assessment system. This year our state has identified schools as "on notice" or "on focus"
if they have failed to demonstrate that their students have met the State Board of Education's
performance goals and have failed to meet adequate yearly progress toward meeting those goals in
the near future.

As you can see, Tennessee is already taking steps to meet the high standards President Bush has
set for United States schools.
     Amy Powell, Citizens' Representative Assistant

You may also wish to look at www.governor.state.or.us/governor/speeches.htm, and click on
Investing in Oregon's Children. So, I will cite some parts of it for Japanese educators as the
Education is like a chain ? the strength of which is determined by its weakest link. In the budget I
have submitted to the legislature, I am sure that ? from a budget standpoint ? each segment of our
education community believes that it is the weakest link. Higher education is mounting a campaign to
get more money into the Oregon University System. The K-12 budget clearly does not include enough
resources to ensure that all of our children meet the standards we have established in the Education
Act for the 21st Century. And there are many unmet needs facing our community colleges.
There was no general tax increase in the last decade to help pay for the services demanded by a
growing population or to defray the cost of the huge increase in state responsibility for education and
public safety. On the contrary, we returned over $1 billion to individuals and corporations through the two
percent kicker, the legislature cut the capital gains tax and the voters approved another $160 million tax
cut with the passage of Ballot Measure 88 last November.
The answer, in the absence of new revenue, is prevention ? making every effort to invest today in
areas which will prevent expensive problems tomorrow. We have made two great investments in
prevention the last decade: the Oregon Health Plan and the Juvenile Crime Prevention Plan that was
adopted by the last legislative session.
This represents a significant shift in state priorities from after-the-fact intervention to front-end
prevention and treatment. It is an important shift and one that must be made ? both because of the
human consequences of failing to invest in our youngest citizens and because of the fiscal reality
we face. But it will not come easily.
3. Comment
Some Governors may patiently support the schools in failing, but it actually will become increasingly
difficult in their budgeting problems and their demands of the more effective education.

We, in Japan, have to learn and implement their national and state standardized testing systems. We
also must learn the individual school accountabilities within the block-grant system in the U. S.
...Described in November 2001